Newcastle: £45k-a-week star could leave St James' Park

Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe

Newcastle‘s Matt Ritchie could leave St James’ Park this summer, according to Sky Sports reporter Keith Downie.

The £45,000 per-week star has entered the final 12 months of his Toon Army contract and has been linked with a Magpies exit ahead of September’s deadline.

What’s the latest news involving Ritchie?

According to NewcastleWorld, the Scotland international is attracting attention from former club Bournemouth following his will to move back closer to his family.

GiveMeSport The Verdict
GiveMeSport The Verdict

Ritchie has played 188 times across six seasons in the north East and reunited with Eddie Howe after he replaced Steve Bruce back in November.

But Ritchie hardly featured under Howe’s guidance, playing just 17 minutes across two appearances in the Premier League in 2022.

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As a result, Howe confirmed that while he has a good relationship with Ritchie, his want to return home could see him depart this summer.

“I think it’s well documented my relationship with Matty, we go so far back,” he said. “Matty’s own personal situation he will have his own thoughts. Mine is to try and keep him but it’s well documented that Matty has been a way from his family for a long period of time.”

What did Downie say about Ritchie?

Downie agreed that Ritchie could leave after telling GIVEMESPORT: “I was looking at the squad the other day and I think that Ritchie is one that could go, I think they’ll definitely lose one of the four goalkeepers, they won’t keep four goalkeepers.”

Do Newcastle need Ritchie?

Having played in several different positions over the last six seasons, Ritchie has generally proved a reliable servant for the club over the years.

But Ritchie’s lack of minutes since the turn of the year suggest that while he’s still on good terms with Howe, he isn’t part of his long term plans.

In Howe’s defence, the Magpies have several options at left-back, with Ritchie unlikely to play in a more advanced role turning 33 in September.

Not only did Howe sign Matt Targett permanently following his successful loan spell, but he’s also got Paul Dummett and Javier Manquillo, who played at left-back on a couple of occasions last season, with game-time therefore likely to continue to be hard to come by.

Jamal Lewis wasn’t included in the 25-man Premier League squad for the second half of last season, but he’s also still on the club’s books, meaning Ritchie is essentially surplus to requirements.

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