According to the Northern Echo, Stoke City will push to secure the signing of Matt Ritchie in the next few days, with Newcastle ‘prepared to cash in’ if their £15m asking price is met – a move that would allow Benitez to re-sign Andros Townsend.
There’s a lot that still needs to be done here, with us having to agree a deal for Townsend before we could allow Ritchie to leave, however it sounds like Stoke are now ready to up their offer – with them keen to see him sign as early as ‘next week’.
Their initial offer was believed to be £12m (a bid NUFC rejected), but it has now emerged that they’re ready to meet his £15m asking price – with them all set to receive £13.5m for a Liverpool-bound Xherdan Shaqiri.
Here’s a snippet from Paul Fraser’s latest piece for the Echo, claiming that Matt Ritchie could become a Stoke City player by ‘next week’ if all goes to plan:
MATT RITCHIE has been all smiles on the training ground in Ireland – even though Newcastle United are expecting an improved offer that could see him become a Stoke City player next week.
The Magpies are prepared to cash in on him for £15m if they feel a deal can be struck with Crystal Palace for Andros Townsend.
Ritchie, a hard-working character on the training ground, is getting on with his pre-season as a Newcastle player on the outskirts of Dublin.
But Stoke are readying a fresh offer as soon as Xherdan Shaqiri finalises his £13.5m switch to Liverpool.
Stoke have already had an offer in the region of £12m turned down and it is believed somewhere in the region of £15m would be enough.
If that materialises next week then Newcastle will step up their pursuit of the £17m-rated Townsend, even though he moved to Selhurst Park in a £13m deal two years ago – six months after moving to Tyneside for £12m.
Interestingly, the Chronicle admitted earlier today that both Ritchie and Townsend share the same agent – something that prove key if and when both moves in opposite directions are being discussed
There’s a lot of factors that will influence this, with Palace needing to replace Townsend before they sell and us needing to pay big to re-sign him (£17m allegedly), however I can see this one happen IF Stoke go big to sign Ritchie.