Newcastle’s Matt Ritchie Open to Stoke City Move on One Condition

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Newcastle United winger Matt Ritchie is said to be open to a move to Championship Stoke City on one condition – they pay him £60k-a-week.

The Scottish international is currently earning a reported £45k-a-week and would demand the pay rise to make the drop and play for Gary Rowett’s Potters side.

However, Ritchie is a proven performer at Championship level with the wide man being a pivotal part to Newcastle’s own title-winning campaign in the 2016/17 Championship season.

Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez is said to be open to selling the 28-year-old, with Stoke being expected to pay between £12m and £15m for the winger’s services.

If Stoke want a serious push for automatic promotion in their first season in the Championship, then Ritchie would be a very smart signing indeed.

However, understandably, £60k-a-week wages are a huge outlay on a single player at that level. It comes down to how new Stoke manager Rowett chooses to prioritise his budgets.

If Stoke are serious in wanting long-term success, then in today’s market they’ll have to pay for it. Ritchie is a prime example of that, and one that is far less of a gamble than most.

The former Bournemouth winger is proven at Championship level, and could offer the quality needed to ensure Rowett’s side spends just the single season in England’s second tier – which will be the goal.

Ritchie could also be a huge asset, given the recent announcement by Stoke fan favourite Peter Crouch that he’d be willing to stay and play for the club next season.

One of Ritchie’s strongest elements is his crossing and technical ability, and with an aerial presence like Crouch in the box, it could prove to be a powerful combination for Stoke and one other Championship defences could come to fear.

All talk over the move remains speculation at this moment in time, but one thing is very clear. The ball is very much in Stoke’s court now over a move for Ritchie – it comes down to whether they want to pay the player’s high wage demands.

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