This comes from the latest transfer update on Sky Sports News on Monday night, with the reporter not only claiming that the two clubs are now in advanced talks, but that Ritchie is also ‘open’ to the idea of moving.
As we know, it’s been made quite clear that Ritchie will only be sold if we have a replacement readied, with Crystal Palace’s Andros Townsend being the man Rafa wants if he is to cash in the influential Scottish international.
With that in mind, coupled with news that Ritchie’s move to Stoke is edging closer, it makes us wonder if we’ve had some progress on the Townsend deal – even if Roy Hodgson had suggested that he wasn’t for sale this summer
Here’s what he’s been quoted saying during Sky’s latest transfer update, admitting that Ritchie’s move could see a domino effect for both Newcastle and Crystal Palace:
“Stoke are in advanced talks with Newcastle United over the signing of winger Matt Ritchie.
“It’s thought the clubs are still apart on their valuations, with Newcastle’s asking price around £15m. We’re told thought that Ritchie is open to the transfer.
“If the Ritchie deal can be done, then Newcastle could fund a move for the Crystal Palace winger Andros Townsend.
“One source has told us it would take at least £17m to take Townsend back to St James’ Park but Palace manager Roy Hodgson says he has no interest in selling.
“But despite Hodgson’s comments, it seems Palace are looking around for potential Townsend replacements.
“Top of their list is West Ham United’s Michail Antonio. It’s thought West Ham would consider offers upwards of £15m.
“I think you call that the domino effect.”
— NUFC 360 (@NUFC360) July 16, 2018
What do you make of this folks? Would you be happy to sell Ritchie for £15m if it allowed us to bring Andros Townsend back to St James’ Park?
One thing’s for certain, we cannot allow Ritchie to leave before a replacement is signed. Losing Ritchie and failing to replace him could be the last straw for Benitez.