Ritchie extended his contract with the Magpies in March last year but was nonetheless keen on returning to the south coast. As is noted in The Athletic, Ritchie retains a family home in Dorset and is originally from the Bournemouth area.
Having said his goodbyes and collected his possessions, the winger was convinced a move would materialise – but Newcastle could not secure a replacement nor were willing to accept the terms proposed by the south coast side.
Newcastle were only willing to sanction a permanent move or a loan with an obligation to buy, but Bournemouth held out for a compromise in which Ritchie would only sign permanently if promotion were to be secured at the end of this season – a compromise Newcastle were not willing to accept.
Consequentially, a deal collapsed, leaving Ritchie in the lurch.
The Scotland international was embroiled in recent controversy after Steve Bruce confirmed reports of a heated training ground clash between him and Ritchie in a tell-tale sign of the underlying tensions on Tyneside.
Nothing but Newcastle’s View
However, the obstacles presented by Ritchie’s failed move must be converted into opportunity.
With Newcastle engulfed in a relegation dogfight, utilising every asset – including Ritchie – must be in Bruce’s thinking to boost the odds of survival.