According to Lee Ryder, sources close to Matt Ritchie have ‘insisted’ that the 29-year-old is yet to hold talks about his future at the club – pouring cold water on claims he’s all set to be sold this summer.
This comes after the Sun’s North-East reporter David Coverdale dropped a bombshell earlier this week in a NUFC ‘exclusive’, with him claiming that Ritchie had a new contract requested rejected by the club and had been told he was ‘free to leave’ following alleged talks with Rafa Benitez.
This much needed update from the Chronicle also reveals that sources at St James’ Park were left ‘mystified’ by Coverdale’s claims, with the future of any player likely to be handled once the big issue of Rafa Benitez’s future is dealt with.
Here’s what Lee Ryder’s had to say in response to the Matt Ritchie rumours:
‘Sources close to Matt Ritchie have insisted that the Newcastle United winger has not held any talks about his future at St James’ Park .
‘The Scotland international woke up to a report suggesting he had been told to leave the club by Rafa Benitez .
‘Newcastle have made it clear they are looking to bring in younger players in the next few windows as the club revert back to their policy of signing players with resale value.
‘However, with Benitez’s future still uncertain – with no new deal signed yet – Toon sources say they are mystified by the reports linking with Ritchie with a summer exit.’
In fairness, this isn’t categorically denying claims that he’ll leave this summer, however it seems this week’s ‘exclusive’ from the Sun was severely premature.
It wouldn’t be the first time the Sun got something wrong, however I would not rule out a move for Ritchie this summer – even if claims of future talks and a rejected contract are untrue.
He may have reinvented himself at left wing-back, but with it reported last summer that Rafa was willing to let him go if he re-signed Andros Townsend, a move for the soon-to-be 30-year-old can’t be out of the question.