AFC Bournemouth have stepped up their pursuit of Newcastle United player Matt Ritchie as they aim to bring him back to the South Coast.
A report from Football Insider this morning has revealed that as Newcastle look to take Bournemouth coach Graeme Jones to St James’ Park, they’ve been quizzed on whether Ritchie is available to make the move in the opposite direction.
Ritchie, now 31, was a huge factor behind Bournemouth’s promotion to the Premier League, scoring 15 goals and registering 17 assists during the 2014/15 season.
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The winger then adapted to life superbly in the Premier League, with a further 10 goal involvements for the Cherries upon their promotion.
However, a move to Newcastle was in the offing in 2016 and Ritchie scored 12 goals as Newcastle won promotion in the Championship.
He’s developed into a first-team regular for Newcastle in the Premier League, proving to be versatile to play on the wing but also as a wing-back or full-back under Steve Bruce.
This season, though, he’s managed only eight appearances in the Premier League, putting together around 530 minutes of football in total.
Bruce’s side are slipping into trouble in the Premier League and are anxiously looking over their shoulders, whilst Bournemouth are looking for an instant return to the top-flight by chasing promotion in the Championship.
Ritchie is slowly dropping out of the first-team picture at Newcastle and you can see how Bournemouth might feel like they can lure him back to the club.
It would be a good move for the player at a time when his career is just starting to drift a little bit.
Heading back into the Championship, where he has been such a success, could really give him the game time he craves at a club that adores him in Bournemouth.
The last week of the transfer window will be interesting.
Thoughts? Let us know!