Newcastle United player set for 'shock exit' this summer

Matt Ritchie is eyeing a summer move from Newcastle United, according to a report.

Sunday, 31st March 2019, 10:39 am
Updated Sunday, 31st March 2019, 10:48 am
Matt Ritchie.

The winger has been an influential figure, on and off the pitch, since joining the club from Bournemouth three years ago.

Only Martin Dubravka and Ayoze Perez have played more minutes of Premier League football for the club this season.

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However, The Mirror claim that Ritchie, preparing for tomorrow night's game against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, is "in line for a shock exit".

It is reported that the 29-year-old – who has two years left on his deal – "believes he has one last big contract left in his career".

United manager Rafa Benitez was prepared to sacrifice Ritchie to sign Andros Townsend from Crystal Palace last summer.

Stoke City were interested in the Scotland international, but Benitez wasn't able to do a deal for former loanee Townsend and Ritchie stayed on Tyneside.

Ritchie – who scored a 94th-minute equaliser against former club Bournemouth before the international break – reflected on that outcome earlier this month in an interview with the Gazette.