Portsmouth manager Danny Cowley has claimed that Newcastle United ace Matt Ritchie will finish his career at the League One club.
The Lowdown: Exit-bound?
It was reported last week that Eddie Howe has personally given the green light for the Scotland international to leave St James’ Park in the January transfer window, and that the Premier League club will listen to offers for him.
The 33-year-old will be available to leave for a cut-price figure, given that his contract on Tyneside expires in the summer.
The Latest: Portsmouth move?
As quoted by Portsmouth-based media outlet The News, Pompey manager Cowley has claimed that he thinks Ritchie will end his career with the Fratton Park club, with talks reportedly underway over a ‘homecoming’ for the Gosport native.
Cowley said: “I’d like him, is that possible? Well, we’d love to have Matt Ritchie. I’m not sure we’d be able to cover his wages coming to Portsmouth, though!
“I do think he will finish his career at Portsmouth, though.”
The Verdict: Time is up
A move to League One club Portsmouth may not be realistic at this moment in time, given Ritchie’s £45,000-per-week salary, but that should not stop Newcastle from trying to get him off the wage bill.
Hailed as “incredible” by Howe after there were whispers that the 33-year-old could leave in the summer, the Scotsman has been a faithful servant for the Magpies.
He has played 190 games for the club, including 42 in the Championship in the 2016/17 campaign, in which he scored 12 goals and supplied a further eight assists on the way to helping them win promotion back to the Premier League (Transfermarkt).
However, Ritchie has only played one minute of top-flight football so far this term and made just two appearances in total (Transfermarkt), suggesting that he has fallen down the pecking order under Howe.
Therefore, Newcastle must consider selling him in January, or perhaps to Portsmouth later on in his career.
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