The report states that the 30-year-old has brought his international career with Scotland to an end to spend more time with his family, but goes on to state that he could also be on his way out of St. James’ Park.
Ritchie’s family are currently based in Hampshire.
The article reads: “Ritchie, meanwhile, is approaching the final 18 months of his Newcastle contract and his club future remains uncertain.
“He is a popular player among supporters and team-mates but talk of a new deal has cooled in light of his recent injury and it could well be that his family situation sees him return to the south at some stage.”
Losing Ritchie would be a real blow. The Toon Army always look to be a much better side with him in contention for a start, and he is a popular figure with fans too. The Scot may have been ruled out for most of this season through injury, but when he has played he has been his usual effective self, averaging an impressive 2.3 key passes per match, as per Whoscored. Taking that kind of creativity out of a side is always going to be a loss, and looking ahead to the longer term, you would hope that the club don’t choose to let a player of Ritchie’s talent just walk away. His age maybe doesn’t count in his favour, and his family could still prove to be a large factor in Ritchie’s personal decision, but at the very least you would hope that the Magpies go all out to keep one of their most under-appreciated talents on the books.