EXCLUSIVE By Pete O’Rourke
Stoke City are plotting a summer swoop to sign Newcastle United star Matt Ritchie, Football Insider understands.
The Championship club are preparing a move for Ritchie as they look a build a squad capable of winning promotion back to the Premier League next season after a disappointing campaign this term.
The Potters finished in 16th spot in the Championship table, but Nathan Jones, who is preparing for his first full season in charge this summer, is planning a major overhaul of his squad.
A Stoke source has told Football Insider that Ritchie is among the club’s top targets.
The Staffordshire outfit are monitoring his situation at Newcastle with talks over a new deal stalling because of the age of the Scotland international, who is due to turn 30 in September.
Ritchie has been one of Newcastle’s best performers this season and he has shown his versatility and worth to the team by impressing in a new left wing-back role in the recent months.
The 29-year-old still has two years to run on his contract at St James’ Park but Stoke have been given encouragement a deal could be possible due to the stalemate over his future.
In other Newcastle United news, the club are set to start work on a £15million transfer after the green light is given.