Matt Ritchie has arrived in Newcastle and a medical is scheduled for this Friday morning.
All being well, the Bournemouth winger will make it three signings for Rafa Benitez in just over 48 hours.
A busy time for the Newcastle boss as his squad begin their pre-season training in earnest today.
Sky Sports have confirmed that the transfer fee is already agreed, with reports claiming that it is an initial fee of around £10m which could rise to £12m.
Doesn’t take a genius to work out that the extra cash is almost certainly going to be triggered by promotion to the Premier League.
Goalkeeper Matz Sels signed a five year deal on Wednesday morning, whilst Dwight Gayle is expected to be officially confirmed today – the club having jumped the gun by posting an article on their website yesterday (Thursday). It stated that Gayle had signed and had today’s (Friday’s) date on, only for it to be quickly pulled and the text doctored, removing the mention of the striker having signed.
Matt Ritchie has had a varied career and played up and down all four divisions, actually making his first Premier League appearance way back in 2010 with Portsmouth.
After finding his feet with Swindon in Leagues two and one, it is at Bournemouth where the winger has made rapid progress. In three seasons Ritchie helped the south coast club transform from a League One outfit into a club that quite comfortably survived in their first ever Premier League season.
Four goals and six assists in 37 Premier League appearances (four of them as a sub) for Bournemouth, although there was a feeling his form tailed off as the season progressed – maybe not surprising as the Bournemouth team as a whole did the same in theirs and Ritchie’s first top flight campaign.
However, in the previous two seasons for the Cherries in the Championship Matt Ritchie was devastating, he scored 24 goals and made 21 goals in 72 starts (plus four as a sub).
It was also be a novelty having a Scottish player in the team once again, in years gone by it would have seemed bizarre to be saying that considering how often they made up a sizeable chunk of the Newcastle team.
Matt Ritchie has three goals in nine starts (plus one as sub) for his country and was involved in their friendly matches after this past season ended.
With Andros Townsend walking out on Newcastle, great work by Rafa Benitez to secure such a credible replacement.