The Northern Echo are reporting today that Stoke City want to buy Matt Ritchie and they want the deal completed next week.
Best of luck on that.
Liverpool are expected to sign Xherdan Shaqiri imminently after he was in Liverpool yesterday for a medical and will leave Stoke for his release clause of £13.5M.
The Swiss International never had any intention of playing in the Championship this coming season.
It seems that while Rafa doesn’t want to lose Ritchie if he can get £15M for him from Stoke and get Andros Townsend in his place for around £17M, then he will let Matt leave the club.
It remains to be seen if Matt will want to drop down a league again – as he did two years ago when he left AFC Bournemouth for Newcastle.
Matt Ritchie – he could leave next week?
He then had a tremendous first season for us scoring 16 goals with 9 assists in the Championship – so he’s definitely worth £15M to Soke.
To persuade Ritchie to join them in the hope they can get promoted next May, Stoke will offer Matt improved wages on the £45K/week he currently gets at Newcastle.
But the deal will only go through if we get Andros Townsend in his place, and if we cannot get Andros in – Matt will stay with us.
So Newcastle will have to do these two deals together – maybe a bridge too far for Lee Charnley?
And we mentioned yesterday this is less important than Newcastle getting some new class forwards in and a striker.
And we still need a fullback who can challenge DeAndre Yedlin and Paul Dummett for their starting position.
Both backup fullbacks Jesus Gamez and Massadio Haidara were not retained last month when their contracts ran out, so we need replacements.
But it seems things are going at a snail’s pace this summer.
That reflects just how slow Newcastle are in trying to get their targets in.
That has to change.