There’s news in the Mail today that Stoke City have become frustrated with the internal politics going on at Newcastle and have now turned away from trying to get Matt Ritchie.
Newcastle want £15M for the player, but Rafa will not sell unless and until he has a replacement brought in – that’s a policy Rafa has long held as a manager.
And that has held up any deal for Ritchie leaving for Stoke, and the Potters have now moved on and are after Tom Ince of Huddersfield Town, and they are in talks with the Terriers.
Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley – getting hot under the collar?
Here’s a piece from the Mail:
“Stoke City have held further discussions over a potential move for Huddersfield Town’s Tom Ince as they grow frustrated in their pursuit of Newcastle’s Matt Ritchie.”
“The Potters have been long linked with a move for the Scotland international as they prepare to bounce back from Premier League relegation.”
“But internal politics at Newcastle are holding up any deal, which has seen Gary Rowett seek an alternative.”
This suggests there is some disagreement between Rafa and those like Lee Charnley and Mike Ashley who bring in the new players that Rafa identifies.
It seems Mike Ashley has to sanction all new signings which really slows things down.
And while we suspect Stoke City have put in a good offer for Ritchie, Rafa will not agree to let him go until a suitable replacement (like for instance Andros Townsend) has been brought in.
And it seems that he doesn’t trust Mike Ashley to bring in a new winger if he allows Matt to leave now.
That’s an interpretation of the Mail report, and if that’s true, it’s not exactly showing real trust between the manager and the owner.
Why does the saying “Once bitten twice shy” suddenly come to mind?
One final note – we are quite happy to see Matt Ritchie stay at Newcastle – he epitomizes the spirit and passion of the players under Rafa and seems to have his family settled in the north-east.