Middlesbrough Gazette reporter Philip Tallentire has admitted that a potential part-exchange involving Matt Ritchie and Adama Traore is something to two clubs may consider this summer – although he believes NUFC would have to offer a player plus cash deal.
Traore has been linked with a move to Tyneside on several occasions over the past 12 months, with Benitez seeming to be an admirer of the former Barcelona youth talent.
With Middlesbrough (as well as Stoke) being strongly linked with a £15m move for Ritchie just yesterday, a potential part-exchange involving Traore and Ritchie has been discussed during a Q&A between the Chronicle’s Chris Waugh and the Middlesbrough Gazette’s Philip Tallentire.
Here’s a snippet from their conversation, starting with the question Chris posed to the Teeside reporter over any potential deal that would see Traore arrive on Tyneside:
Chris Waugh (Chronicle – NUFC):
Given that United enquired about Adama Traore’s availability at Boro last summer, that makes Middlesbrough’s interest in Ritchie all-the-more intriguing for Newcastle fans.
It’s interesting you mention Traore, because in the past Newcastle have held an interest in him. Would Boro consider a part-exchange for Ritchie involving Traore, if Newcastle did rekindle their interest in the Spaniard?
Philip Tallentire (Gazette – Boro):
“In football you never say never and Boro are realistic about their prospects of keeping Traore.
“However, the crucial factor is they don’t have to sell; they can hold out for the highest possible fee and, if their valuation isn’t met, refuse to sell.
“A player-plus-cash deal sounds, on the face of it, logical. However, the key question would be: how much extra Newcastle would be prepared to pay for Traore?
“It will also depend on the Spaniard’s preferred destination if he does leave. He may wait to see if a Champions League club – at home or abroad – declares an interest.”
Whether Rafa even agrees to sell Ritchie remains to be seen, but this makes you question if Benitez would sanction his sale if it meant we got Traore in return.
It’s a risky one given Traore is still raw (although he was directly involved in 16 goals last season) and I’m not too sure if we’d be willing to give Middlesbrough Ritchie PLUS cash for the Spaniard, however I would argue that he’s a player more suited to Rafa’s counter attacking style of play.
Would you be remotely willing to entertain a deal that saw Ritchie leave and Traore take his place down our right hand side?