This is why Newcastle United's Matt Ritchie didn't rejoin Bournemouth

Matt Ritchie is going nowhere in this summer’s transfer window, according to Steve Bruce.

Thursday, 10th September 2020, 12:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th September 2020, 12:13 pm

Gosport-born Ritchie’s family are based in the south, and the Newcastle United winger was open to a return to former club Bournemouth as part of a deal for striker Callum Wilson.

However, the Gazette understands that Ritchie – who signed a new contract at St James’s Park earlier this year keeping him at St James’s Park until 2023 – would have had to take a substantial pay cut to rejoin the Championship club.

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And Bruce fully expects 31-year-old Ritchie – who joined from Bournemouth in 2016, and helped the club return to the Premier League – to stay on Tyneside, where he’s a popular figure with fans.

“He’s here, he stays here,” said United’s head coach, who also signed Ryan Fraser and Jamal Lewis this week. “He wasn’t part of the deal. I’m delighted about that. I like Matt Ritchie around the place. He’s been a fans’ favourite. I understand it.”

Ritchie is “touch and go” for Saturday’s Premier League season-opener against West Ham United at the London Stadium with a calf problem.

Midfielder Jonjo Shelvey, meanwhile, should be available to face the club he supported growing up.

Matt Ritchie.

Asked about Ritchie’s availability, Bruce said: “Touch and go. Matt’s got a calf. We think it’s a kick. We’ll see how he is. Same with Jonjo. Jonjo hurt his knee a little bit. I think he’s going to be OK as well.”