On Thursday we discovered that both Stoke City and and Middlesbrough had held talks with Newcastle to try and sign Matt Ritchie.

That seemingly credible reporting (see below) has been followed by an awful lot of talk, by both media and Newcastle fans.

With now Newcastle widely reported as trying to bring back Andros Townsend, it has only heightened the levels of speculation.

The easy/lazy story being that if Matt Ritchie can be sold for £15m or so, that will provide most of the money needed to buy Andros Townsend.

The press predictably lapping it all up and regurgitating it with minutely different angles, though for me, I think they are missing the most obvious question.

Why on earth would Matt Ritchie have any interest in moving to either Stoke City or Middlesbrough?

There are loads of other questions within that main one…

Do you honestly think the winger would rather go to one of those two rather than fight for his place at Newcastle United, even if the club did want to sell him?

Then, if he was accepting that he should leave, why would he be signing for a Championship club.

Yes, I know he did it with us but he, just like Rafa Benitez, sees the massive potential at Newcastle and wanted to be part of it.

If he is available, then surely around half the Premier League clubs would be interested in him.

Of course, the fact remains that whoever we might like the club to sign, why would you be wanting to get rid of one of Newcastle’s best players as part of the plan?

Unless there are miracles where Rafa’s available transfer budget is concerned, then once again character and workrate are going to be the vital ingredients next season, rather than able to rely on pure quality.

Matt Ritchie embodies that character and workrate more than any other Newcastle player, so it would be even more of a catastrophe if the Scottish international was to leave.

If he does, it will be a move to another Premier League club, and that could be a massive negative for Newcastle if they did sell him to a rival club in the top tier.

From The Mag on Thursday:

‘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 City 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.’

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  • TheNutJob

    wonder if the Stoke lads are still laughing aboot the Hoss.
    course they are, silly question

  • Jeffrey Wood

    And the frustration that all Bar code fans and players must feel about that undoubted potential, Im sick of the Bar Code excuses of potential. Little Boro have been in 5 finals 2 years in Europe, bought world class super stars and year on year spend more money than you lot. POTENTIAL, Which year do you potentially expect that money grabbing owner of yours to produce the cash and unleash the potential .

    • TheNutJob

      that would be never !

    • SuperDesHamilton

      And where has that got you 3 headed lot? A league below & a rugby coach in charge

    • Billmag

      Wish we had your owner instead of the awful one we have that’s for sure.

    • Billmag

      Think you are having trouble with the smog.

    • Tino11

      When did you have any world class super stars? Juninho was decent, Ravanelli and Emerson were ok, Zenden not bad but none of them were close to being world class. Have I forgotten somebody?

    • Berkshire Mag

      Oh sorry, I forgot about all those magical Champions League nights at the Riverside…

  • Leazes.

    I don’t understand the headline…or the article?

    • SuperDesHamilton


  • philip warner

    but why not go to Stoke, championship yes but potential is massive, owners are dripping on money and are making it available to get promoted..Articles like this just show arrogance towards championship clubs. He will go to a club who look after their players and are a solid club not like newcastle who it seems dont wish to help the manager.

    • Billmag

      Correct it is arrogant but don’t tar all supporters with the same brush.

      • philip warner

        i never would buddy

    • Dillon Tovak

      It would be arrogant other than the fact Ritchie is 29 and has already gone down to the championship during the peak of his career, why would he want to again?

  • Toon

    Isn’t this a touch arrogant? Poor

  • Tino11

    With the TV money the club is getting this season there is NO REAL REASON why we cannot buy Townsend, Kenedy, a striker but also KEEP Ritchie as a regular off the bench, it is called strength in depth and cover for injuries, something we currently don’t have. Mitro and Atsu can be sold, along with some of the others who don’t play often or at all. Whilst the outlay for that may be 60-65 million, we should get about 20-25 million through players sold. Only an Ashley hoop licker would say we can’t afford to spend 40-45 million net spend out of the TV money.

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      Too much championship manager?

      • Tino11

        18 million for Townsend, 20ish for Kenedy and 25ish for a striker. Care to rebut why we can’t afford that out of the TV money or will you continue to back Ashley and make out the club is skint?

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          You’ve spent £63m and added about £20m to the wage bill, our profit/surplus would be about £35m last year, where is the extra £39m coming from

          • Tino11

            The TV money Bobbi, there is no reason why we can’t use it to cover the shortfall from player sales and any surplus we already have. Investment in the team/squad is needed otherwise we will stand still or regress, if every other club in the PL is willing to use the big bonanza of this seasons TV money to grow their club, why can’t we? I am not saying spend it all.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            This is like the Dianne Abbott school of economic policy making, you are spending the TV money more than once.

            If we have £35m left over in profit, essentially that’s the budget for transfers and extra wages.

          • Tino11

            Oh so you are saying the whole 120+ million TV money has to go all on the wage bill, with about 35 million of it left for transfers & extra wages? So basically the club is soley reliant on the TV money and if it didn’t increase so much we would be fooked? The club obviously isn’t run as well as you like to make out then is it? Ashley’s failure to improve commercial revenue in his 11 year tenure, when every other club has. Sport’s Direct get free advertising yet we paid them over 1.2 million in the latest accounts. Looks like Ashley is the only one who benefits from this austerity ran NUFC.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            I’m saying our total income will be £170m up to maybe 200m . Costs will be hopefully less than £135m so that leaves £35m to throw at players (in simple terms) .

            Now, we’ll have a bit from, taste season to play with and player sales but we need to keep some back for the January panic.

  • MadMag83

    Keep Ritchie and get rid of Atsu.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    Agree one hundred per cent Ritchie is our second best player after Perez. If they both stay there will be a happy man from Monkseaton.

    • Tino11

      So Perez is better than Lascelles, Shelvey, Lejeune and Dubravka? Correction for you “If they both stay there will be a happy man pretending to be from Monkseaton”.

    • panther

      whats his name?

  • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

    Why? You can live in Cheshire with all the football community, literally get to work in 10 mins on the train and by hanging out with the big boys if the North west, you get noticed. Also, the wife is happy because she lives with her pals amongst the Cheshire wags.

  • X,WHY,Y MAN.

    At the end of the film “In Bruges”, Colin Farrell says he woke up and thought hell was Bruges, That is not true, Hell is Stoke On Trent !

  • Greg

    Simple answer Newcastle lack ambition as all you Newcastle fans acknowledge, The owner are not prepared to back the best manager you have had in a while so why would you not move on?

  • Tonnie Paul Ewing

    At least the boro show some ambition and the chairman is one of the best in the country, I’m a smoggy but live in newcastle and have lived here for 20 years and have kids who support Newcastle, to say why we he come to us is beyond arrogant imo, chance he would come is the same reason he came to you a club trying to get back up with ambition and the best chairman who’ll pay him good wages, simple as that” and a 40 minute commute from Newcastle?

    • Keeganontherebound

      The fact that in only 40mns you can escape to Newcastle is definitely the best argument there…

  • Ram Kishore

    This is Arrogant article by someone who’s not a Newcastle fan.. respect for other team’s fans is needed

  • Superdooperhooper

    I dunno Daley this is a far cry from those heady days of decathlon glory isn’t it? Writing sneery articles about boro and Stoke ? Seriously though boro paid 16m for a striker last season while we paid 5 for a Stoke bench warmer!

  • Exphotog

    Yet another lazy article by contributors to the Mag. Slow news week is it? Then why not take a cheap pop at 2 industrialised low income areas. They may not be fashionable clubs but they are supported by honest and loyal fans who are content they may never be Champions League winners but nevertheless support a team run by people who give a toss about the club.
    Crack on with your cheap jibes sunshine, so long as keeps the handful of morons who are taken in by your derisory rhetoric amused.
    As for the rest of you best of luck next season from a smoggy who believes Newcastle bring a lot of character to the Premier League.

  • jonas

    He might be able to get a better wages from two clubs whose owners allow them to punch above their weight as opposed to one who resents paying the bare minimum.
    Likewise due the loathsome p***k who owns, Benitez reluctantly may be forced to sell to buy and that includes players he’s rather keep.
    a strong squad is forbidden under Ashley.