Ryan Fraser and Matt Ritchie could both leave Newcastle United in January, according to The Chronicle.
What’s the latest Newcastle United news?
While the former did raise his game following the appointment of Eddie Howe, it’d be difficult to suggest the signing has worked out as hoped.
Though certainly a logical addition on a free transfer in 2020, the Scotland international has mustered only three goals and six assists in 59 appearances for the club, while on a reported wage of around £63k-per-week (via Salary Sport). Handed only three Premier League starts this season, the 28-year-old is reportedly attracting interest from teams in the Championship.
Ritchie, meanwhile, has seen his importance dwindle for some time. A huge figure in the Rafa Benitez team who won promotion from the second tier in 2017, as well as the first few years back in the Premier League, the 33-year-old has made only 43 League starts across the last three seasons.
Former club Portsmouth are reportedly interested in offering Ritchie the chance to finish his career with his boyhood club.
Should Newcastle get Ritchie and Fraser off the wage bill?
That seems necessary.
Ritchie, of course, should be treated with respect for the key role he played in helping keep Newcastle in the Premier League during the Benitez era, but sentiment only goes so far. Out of the picture under Howe, allowing him the chance to move closer to family (something he reportedly wanted to do last year) and getting him off the wage bill would seem wise. Out of contract in the summer anyway, working out a deal to see him leave on a free transfer would be a nice way to end his time on Tyneside.
Fraser, meanwhile, does not look likely to get back into the first-team. With Alexander Isak signed, Callum Wilson fit and Miguel Almiron in the form of his life, it’s difficult to see a scenario in which Howe selects him over Allan Saint-Maximin and that’s without even taking into account apparent plans to further strengthen the frontline in January.
Even if Newcastle can split some of his wages with a loan suitor, it would surely be better than having Fraser around and falling even further down the pecking order.
What has been said about Ritchie?
Speaking to The News earlier this month, Pompey boss Danny 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!
“That said, he loves the club and he’s been to a couple of games with his boys.”