Last week brought reports of Newcastle United being prepared to sell Matt Ritchie to help fund the signing of Andros Townsend.
Further media coverage has followed (see below) which appears to confirm that there is genuine interest from Rafa Benitez in bringing back Townsend, then at the same time potentially sacrificing Matt Ritchie as part of helping to fund it/make it happen.
However, new media reports from both the Potteries and London, have claimed that potential transfers for both Andros Townsend and Matt Ritchie, are actually part of a four player transfer chain.
A bit like buying a house much of the time, having to wait for other deals/moves to happen before you can get what you want.
The first part of this chain was/is claimed to be Andriy Yarmolenko.
The 28 year old Borussia Dortmund player who has now signed for West Ham, he can play anywhere across the front line, including both wings.
He has cost £20m+ and takes the Hammers net spending to almost £50m, with also the high profile signing of free agents Jack Wilshere and Ryan Fredericks on top of that. When announcing Pellegrini as their new boss, West Ham were said to have promised him major backing in the transfer window and that certainly appears to be the case.
Sky Sports today reporting that they have now agreed a £35m deal to buy Felipe Anderson from Lazio.
The second link of this claimed four man transfer chain is that now West Ham have landed Yarmolenko from Dortmund, they will now be willing to sell versatile attacker Michail Antonio. Crystal Palace are the club reported to be at the head of that queue.
Assuming that deal also happens these reports in both London and the Potteries then claim that Antonio signing for Palace would then see them allow Andros Townsend to join Newcastle.
With the final link being Matt Ritchie then going to Stoke City, according to the reports, though you could claim a fifth link…with Stoke set to lose Shaqiri to Liverpool – though that is independent of the other transfers as the Swiss winger has a release clause in his contract.
Newcastle fans generally appear happy with the three signings (Ki Sung-yueng on a free, Dubravka for £4m and Kenedy on a loan) BUT only if this is part of a package where Rafa Benitez is then also allowed to spend big on other targets.
Andros Townsend would be a significant signing if it happens, not least because it would be all but guaranteed to break the 13 year old club transfer record. He would also instantly become the club’s biggest wage earner, another indication that Rafa had been allowed more freedom by Ashley…if it and other deals happen.
The transfer window closes four weeks today, with so much still needing to happen before that ends and the season starts.
The Mag – Tuesday 10 July 2018:
Rafa Benitez is still determined to land Andros Townsend according to Sky Sports.
The broadcaster broke the news of Kenedy’s journey back to Tyneside yesterday.
Sky Sports presenter, and Newcastle fan, Pete Graves on the same train that arrived at Newcastle central station late last night, with the Chelsea player set for a medical today ahead of a season-long deal being officially confirmed.
However, Sky Sports are also adamant that Kenedy’s arrival doesn’t have any bearing on whether Andros Townsend might sign or not.
At the weekend they reported that Stoke had offered £11.5m for Matt Ritchie but Newcastle were insisting on £15m+, with the intention of using that to help fund a move for Andros Townsend, with Palace claimed to value their winger at £17m.
After revealing the impending Kenedy deal, Sky Sports insist that Newcastle are still keen to bring in Townsend, with the club ready to sell Matt Ritchie if they are successful.
Mixed feelings no doubt for Newcastle fans on this one, Andros Townsend (Pictured above when signing originally back in January 2016) offers a more direct threat and is willing and able to take a man on, whereas Matt Ritchie is more a Duracell non-stop worker whose work ethic is his biggest asset – the Scottish international still yet to really prove that he can regularly score and create goals in the top tier, compared to his outstanding record in the Championship.
With Newcastle reported by the London Evening Standard as being unable to ‘afford’ Chelsea’s buy now price on Kenedy, instead going for a loan fee and option to buy (at a higher price) later, Newcastle fans are hoping/expecting that this is because significant cash is needed to be kept for spending on other signings.
An attacking three of loan signing Kenedy and then buying Townsend and a credible striker, would provide an attacking threat far greater than what was on show last season. Last year was a heavy reliance on perspiration as compared to inspiration and if Newcastle are indeed to move on, then it is obvious they need to add more creativity and goals, with quite possibly Ritchie the high profile casualty of that shift.
In an ideal world Newcastle would also keep Ritchie but I think it is a given that Rafa will need to wheel and deal, to get anywhere near where he wants to be with his first eleven come the start of the season.
The Mag – Saturday 7 July 2018:
Matt Ritchie returned to Newcastle United’s training ground with the rest of the NUFC squad on Friday morning.
The winger having been the subject of much discussion n recent days, with claims he is set to be off to Stoke City (views from their fans below)
Various claims on how far the deals/talks are along but the widespread reporting has been that Rafa Benitez wants Andros Townsend, with Matt Ritchie to be sold to pay towards that deal.
Friday afternoon has seen an update from Sky Sports.
They say that their information is that Stoke City have so far offered a best bid of £11.5m but that Newcastle are holding out for more than £15m.
As for the reported potential replacement, Sky Sports report that Crystal Palace have put a valuation of £17m on the winger.
Whilst £17m would be higher than the £13m Newcastle bought and sold Townsend for back in 2016, it is far lower than the recent claimed price tags of up to £30m for the Palace winger.
Hopefully we will see major breakthroughs on incoming transfers very shortly, as the NUFC squad fly off to Ireland for their pre-season training camp and first friendly on Wednesday.
The Mag – Friday 6 July 2018:
Stoke fans have been reacting to the news of their club’s interest in Matt Ritchie.
The Potters are reported to have offered a ‘staggering package’ to land the Newcastle winger.
As well as a £15m transfer fee, they have also allegedly offered a wage package of up to £80,000 a week.
Little wonder that Stoke would be interested in Ritchie, a player who registered astonishing stats in terms of being involved in goals as both Bournemouth and Newcastle United were promoted from the Championship.
The relegated club have already shown their intention to get instant promotion with the purchase of Nigeria’s 22 year old World Cup star Oghenekaro Etebo and the signing of Benik Afobe.
Interesting to read what the Stoke fans are saying about the potential Matt Ritchie signing, the overwhelming reaction is that he is a no-brainer in terms of ability, though concerns from some about the financial side of things…
Stoke fans react via their top Oatcake message board:
‘Shaqiri will not be here next season , so it is the clubs job to find the best player , in that position , that is available. Matt Ritchie would probably be top of that list , the club should be applauded if this comes off.’
‘I wonder why Newcastle want to get rid?’
‘Because they need the funds.’
‘Rafa is under pressure to build a better squad but Ashley has pulled the purse strings…ultimately it means selling your best stock.
If I was Newcastle I would snap Stoke’s hand off.’
‘I can see Rafa going elsewhere given the chance.’
‘It’d be big money but we’d struggle to find someone with a better record at this level. Going off his history on Transfermarkt he’s not missed any games through injury for several years either (touch wood)
In his promotion season with Bournemouth (14/15) he was involved in 33 goals (15 scored and 18 assisted) in 51 games
In Newcastle’s promotion season (16/17) he was involved in 26 goals (16 scored, 10 created) in 42 games
That level of return near enough mirrors Liam Lawerence’s contribution when we last went up. Lawrence won Overall Championship Player of the Year and got voted into the 07/08 PFA Team of the Year too.’
‘Be a great move if we signed him, no need for financial concern and owners to be applauded.’
‘1- he’s not worth £15 million
2- £4 million a year is ridiculous
I have no idea what the club are doing, seems a bit of a panic to me, he’s a good championship player yes but that’s all he is, £10 million max and should be on far lower wages, if he wants more then move on, don’t get desperate and be ripped off for a bang average player.’
‘Each player has a market value. Obviously it’s not good to overpay for a player. Now that we’re in the Championship, it is even more of a risk. £77,000 per week is a hell of a lot of money for a player who turns 29 in September.
‘Would you also be moaning if we offered £30k a week and he turned it down.’
‘We’re not talking risks here. It’s good, solid money on top level Championship player, which will give us a good, fighting chance.’
‘These kind of deals are okay if we promote this season or next but not if we’re still in the Championship in 4-5 years time.’
‘If we don’t do these deals then we probably will still be in the Championship in 4-5 years.’
‘You’re assuming that there is a wide player that we want, who is available, and better than Ritchie, that we can get for £10m.
There has to be some benefit to having multi-squillionaire owners, and if that involves them splashing their cash, it’s not really for me or you to question.
We paid £18m for both Imbula & Wimmer. We’ll never get worse value than that, ever again.
The owners seem to be very serious about getting back up. That’s what we all wanted, was it not.’
‘We have to do what it takes to get some players, players like Ritchie that will make the difference. I’m not concerned about this fee/wage deal as we’re not doing this for everyone. We can also probably afford it.’
‘If we get Ritchie, sign another striker and a wide man and hold on to Butland then we’re as good as promoted.’
‘If true, it’s a staggering contract.
However he is a quality player so if we can get him in it would be brilliant news. Sign players like this and keep the best ones we already have ie Bauer and we won’t be spending to long in the Championship.
Come on Stoke!’