Matt Ritchie's revealing answer when quizzed on his Newcastle United future
Matt Ritchie has hinted that he would be keen to stay at Newcastle United - and that conversations have already taken place over his future.
Rumours last week suggested that Ritchie had been told he wasn't going to be handed an extended deal at St James's Park, with his current contract set to expire in 2021.
And while it was mooted that the Scottish international may be used as a make-weight in a potential swap deal for Bournemouth's Ryan Fraser, Ritchie has reaffirmed his commitment to the cause at St James's Park - and that he had held discussions with Rafa Benitez over his future.
"But there has been two or three windows where there has been speculation about my future.
"All I can say is that I’m enjoying my football here, I love the pressure that the football club brings.
"Until someone tells me otherwise that my services are no longer required I’ll be giving everything that I possibly can.”
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Benitez was quizzed on the rumours surrounding Ritchie ahead of the visit of Southampton this evening - but refused to be drawn on reports.
Indeed, with the manager's own future still up in the air, he feels it would be unfair to comment on the future of individuals.
“My priority is to concentrate on the game," said the Newcastle manager.
"I’m not happy when I see all the stories about Ritchie. It’s not true. My job is to prepare Ritchie for the next game. I cannot give any advice about the future – my contract is up on June 30.
“If I do not have a contract after next month, how can I say to him ‘I will not give you a contract’? It’s a decision for the club – my job is to be sure he is fit and ready. I want to be sure we get another three points, and we will be safe, because I think the job is not done.”