It might take some believing for many Newcastle United fans but the club have been in talks with two clubs to sell Matt Ritchie.

If this was from usual ‘sources’ then it would be easy to dismiss but the story comes from John Percy at The Telegraph and he has a very good record with his information on both transfer and other stories, including past ones regarding Newcastle United.

He states as fact that Newcastle have held talks with both Stoke and Middlesbrough regarding the sale of Matt Ritchie.

Percy states that Newcastle are considering letting the winger go if one of them is willing to pay £15m.

It would be a shock departure for NUFC fans and the presumption would surely be that a sale would only happen IF Rafa Benitez was happy for it to take place and IF he believed he would get that cash and be able to use it towards his own targets.

John Percy says Bournemouth are also interested in taking Matt Ritchie back and indeed a story in recent days claimed a possible swap deal could be on for Cherries striker Josh King.

Championship clubs are flexing their financial muscles these days and last summer Wolves paid £16m for a player, whilst Middlesbrough shelled out £15m on striker Britt Assombalonga.

Matt Ritchie turns 29 in September so bean counters would maybe see £15m as a good price to sell at but as always, it depends on what then happens to the money at Newcastle United.

Easy to see why Championship clubs would fancy taking him, as when Bournemouth got promotion in 2014/15 the winger got 15 goals and 17 assists, whilst with Newcastle it was 12 goals and 7 assists in 2016/17.

Stoke and Middlesbrough have, unlike Newcastle, already been spending relatively significant money and this coming season the two clubs will receive significant parachute payments – Stoke will bank over £41m and Boro just over £34m.

As for Rafa Benitez, John Percy says that he ‘open-minded’ about letting Matt Ritchie go and that it will revolve around what he feels is needs in terms of signing priorities for himself.

It is worth pointing out that whilst Ritchie is popular with Newcastle fans, in the top tier with Bournemouth his figures dropped to 4 goals and 6 assists and then 3 goals and 5 assists for Newcastle in the Premier League last season.

  • Dillon Tovak

    Personally I think Ritchie offers more than the stats imply.
    However if an upgrade was purchased, anyone can leave.
    Trouble is as we all know, we ain’t in the business of upgrades.

    • Danimal

      At least we’re guaranteed an upgrade in owner when the club is eventually sold, regardless of who it’s sold to. Sadly it won’t be for a very long time.

      • Dillon Tovak

        Mr Burns would be an upgrade 😂

        • Danimal

          So would Pete Burns. Dead or alive.

  • Rich Lawson

    He’s already dropped down a division once with us on a risky move,don’t see why he would do it again at 29 for Stoke or Boro ? He always puts the effort in,why sell him with no guarantee of Rafa’ getting the cash or it just being used to bring in a few more sub standard players to flesh out the squad ?

  • MP01

    How farcical is it that Middlesborough spent £15mill on a player whilst in the championship, and our club transfer record is only £1mill more than that? Newcastle has the longest standing transfer record – 13 years and counting…. and it will be a hell of a curveball for that to change in this window!

    World Class Manager, World Class Fans, and a …. (*insert the opposite of world class here*) owner.

  • Lhc#Freetommyrobinson

    Swap for shaqiri

    • Dillon Tovak

      Great deal…for Stoke.

      • Lhc#Freetommyrobinson

        Shaqiri streets ahead technically and younger.

        • Dillon Tovak

          So? He doesn’t try.

          • Geordiegiants

            I can see an argument on both sides, but neither did Robert. It’s a tricky on.

          • Lhc#Freetommyrobinson

            Exactly along with ginola.

          • Dillon Tovak

            Robert and Ginola were 10 times the player Shaqiri is, in the prem anyway.

          • Geordiegiants

            I don’t doubt it for a minute, but players like Shaqiri can change things in the click of a finger. We don’t have a player like that and haven’t since ben Arfa.

  • Peaky

    Anyone but Stoke…they’re still pis*ing themselves laughing they sold us The Hoss….🐴🐴🐴

    • TheNutJob

      wor kid says it`s folk law doon there

  • SH.ER

    I love Ritchie as i said but if we are getting 2 new wingers with the same work rate and have MORE attacking instincts I’m fine, plus I would get rid of Murphy too

  • Ram Kishore

    I dont want him going but let Rafa decide.
    Maybe the The telegraph writer is unreliable this time..Never knew when he was reliable… Anyone has any idea of his past transfer reporting???

  • TheNutJob

    Championship clubs are outspending the Toon, sad days

    • panther

      I’m outspending them, just bought a pint

  • Wezza

    I really don’t think we should sell him, Ritchie was a very important player and came up with some good goals too! Madness to sell and we know an upgrade won’t be bought. What next. Lascelles?

  • David2211

    Sorry but no. Do not sell. It would be a stupid decision. Good player, hard worker and well liked.
    And don’t bother with the “…but if we can get an improvement”. That’s not how Newcastle United do things.

  • Philippines

    Sounds a bit dumb to me.

  • Paul Patterson

    £20m and the talking can begin, other than that- no way!

  • Geordiegiants

    For me he is pretty average but is one hell of a grafter. If the money went towards Kenedy then it would be no contest.

    • Paul Patterson

      So strengthen the left wing but weaken the right wing?

      • Geordiegiants

        If that’s what it takes then I would say yes. We need Kenedy or a similar standard of player or we are done for. Although Ritchie is a grafter, he doesn’t win games for us.

        • thewildchimp

          He does decide them sometimes via mid-range shots, but, yeah, was not as important as Kenedy. However, he is our only consistent performer in the wingers department. We do have fast right backs to compensate for his lack of speed. Puts some wicked crosses in, too.

          • Geordiegiants

            I’m not saying he is a bad player, not by a long shot, but he isn’t anything special really. I would choose to have Kenedy in our squad ahead of him any day.

  • Gallowgate Dave

    Can anyone name a better signing since Rafa took over?

    • Geordiegiants

      Permanent or does on loan count?

      • Gallowgate Dave

        Permanent only.

        Dubravka looks very good but discounting him as maybe not enough of a track record with us yet, I would rate Matt Ritchie as Rafa’s best signing in over 2 years with us. I love his bravery and commitment and alongside Perez was still top for assists last year even though he’s clearly not as effective in the Premier League as in the Championship.

        I perhaps wouldn’t mind if we were constantly striving for improvement and excellence but we aren’t so instead we’d just be selling one of our best players.