Eddie Howe admits player he ‘wants to keep’ could leave this summer to be back with family

Eddie Howe has been asked about the future of Matt Ritchie this week, and his answer was pretty telling.

Ideally, the boss would like to keep the 32-year-old on Tyneside, however it seems the player is keen to return closer to loves ones down South.

Howe states that he has “been away from his family for a long period of time” and accepts that it’s “unclear” what direction he’ll go in over the coming weeks.

Ritchie is a player he knows well from their time together at Bournemouth. He’s clearly a respected figure at the club and loud voice in the dressing room, but Howe’s comments suggest a move away could be on the cards.

Here’s what Howe had to say when asked about Ritchie’s future:

“I think it’s well documented my relationship with Matty, we go so far back.

“The respect for him I have as a person – he’s been incredible for me.

“Matty’s own personal situation he will have his own thoughts.

Mine is to try and keep him but it’s well documented that Matty has been a way from his family for a long period of time.

“He loves playing for Newcastle – and is very passionate about the club – but, I think, it’s unclear what direction we’ll take this year. But, from both sides, there’s a lot of respect.”

If Ritchie is keen to be back with family then who could begrudge him a move, especially now he’s no longer part of our first-team plans.

He’s only managed 16 minutes of action in 2022 and is someone – for me – who’d only be kept on for his influence off the pitch, so it could make sense for all parties if a suitable buyer emerges.

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan, he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC!

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