Newcastle United midfielder Matt Ritchie is set to join Championship side Stoke City, according to a report.
The Sun claims that the Scotland international is close to a £15million move, who will link up with new Potters boss Gary Rowett.
The report reveals that Ritchie will be able to leave the club to make room for the incoming Andros Townsend, who is close to joining Newcastle.
The 28-year-old was a regular for Rafael Benitez’s side in the Premier League last season, making 38 appearances, scoring three goals and providing six assists in all competitions (TransferMarkt). However, Ritchie now looks set to join Stoke in their race for promotion from the Championship.
Football Insider verdict:
This move, which has been touted for a few days, felt like a weird one initially. However, it’s become obvious that this may not be the player’s preferred choice. With the possible arrival of Andros Townsend, it’s clear that Rafael Benitez doesn’t have room for both players so it makes sense that he’s trying to offload Ritchie for the best price. Although the 28-year-old was a regular for the Toon first-team last season, Townsend is a better player and will be able to contribute a lot more in terms of goals and assists. This may seem like a harsh decision but it’s what clubs have to do if they are serious about staying in the Premier League – there’s no room for loyalty when relegation is on the line. The Scotland international will do really well in the Championship as he’s too good for that level and has already experienced earning promotion from the second-tier. it’s just good business for Newcastle.
In other Newcastle United news, the club have made a bid for Juventus’ Italian international midfielder.