Report: Watford named as transfer admirers of released Newcastle United midfielder as Portsmouth consider options

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Gosport-born Matt Ritchie is leaving Newcastle after eight seasons at St James' Park

Watford are reportedly weighing up a move for Matt Ritchie.

That’s according to TEAMtalk, who claim new Hornets boss Tom Cleverley is a big admirer of the left-sided attacker who will wave goodbye to Newcastle this summer after eight years at St James’ Park.

Their ‘exclusive’ report claims the Vicarage Road side have ambitions of returning to the Premier League and Cleverley believes Ritchie’s experience and versatility will be a huge asset for them next term as they look to improve on last season’s 15th-placed finish.

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TEAMtalk also state, though, that the 34-year-old won’t be short of offers, with a host of Championship clubs supposedly keen to provide the Gosport-born ace with the chance to prolong a career that began at Fratton Park in the 2000s.

Ritchie previously told The News he had unfinished business at PO4, after making just 10 appearances for his boyhood club before being sold to Swindon in 2011. The chances of that happening look remote, with Ritchie not fitting the profile of player Pompey’s recent progress has been built on under sporting director Rich Hughes.

However,  it would be too early to write off a Portsmouth homecoming for the former £12m Newcastle United ace, who made 215 appearances for the Toon.

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