Newcastle United transfer news: Magpies rival West Ham for winger, Townsend future in balance

Matt Ritchie (right) has been linked with a move to Newcastle United

Matt Ritchie (right) has been linked with a move to Newcastle United

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Newcastle United are reported to be battling with West Ham United for the signing of AFC Bournemouth winger Matt Ritchie.

The 26-year-old made over 40 appearances in the Premier League last season, scoring four goals in the Cherries debut top flight campaign.

Ritchie caught the eye last season, scoring the Cherries goal of the season at home to Sunderland while also impressing on international duty with Scotland.

Ritchie, who has previously played for Portsmouth, Dagenham & Redbridge, Notts County and Swindon on loan, has been linked with a move to Newcastle.

And Rafa Benitez could soon be market for a new wideman should Andros Townsend leave the North East.

The England winger was one of the star performers in the club's unsuccessful battle against relegation to the Championship and he has been linked with a big-money summer move away from St James's Park.

The winger has a release clause in the contract he signed in January after a £12million move from Tottenham Hotspur.

A clutch of clubs, including Crystal Palace, are ready to offer Townsend a Premier League lifeline.

The 24-year-old is available for £10.5million due to the clause in his deal, though he has not given any public indication he is looking to leave Newcastle.