By George Brooks
Newcastle United midfielder Matt Ritchie insists the players will not become distracted by any potential takeover of the club.
Owner Mike Ashley officially put the Magpies up for sale last month and is keen to sell the club by Christmas if possible.
Manager Rafa Benitez has repeatedly stressed that he is solely focused on achieving his objectives on the pitch and preparing the players for their matches in the Premier League.
Ritchie insists that the same thing goes for the players, who travel to Old Trafford to face Manchester United in the Premier League on Saturday.
“I’ve got to be honest that I’ve tried to, not ignore it because it’s obviously there, but as players we need to continue to work hard and do our stuff on the pitch and training pitch,” said Ritchie, as quoted by The Chronicle Live.
Ritchie says that the players do not have a say in what goes on upstairs at the club so they cannot let that distract them for their progress in the Premier League.
“We can’t affect anything that goes on upstairs at the football club,” he said.
“We just need to stay focused on what happens on the pitch and hopefully success on the pitch will bring success off the pitch.”
Benitez’s side are currently 11th in the Premier League table with 14 points from their opening 11 matches.
However, the back-to-back 1-0 defeats to Burnley and Ritchie’s former club Bournemouth have raised questions over their season so far.
Ritchie has played all 11 Premier League games for the Magpies this season but is still searching for his first goal of the campaign.
His side have a difficult run of fixtures over the festive period and face Chelsea, Arsenal and leaders Manchester City in the month of December.