LATEST: Portsmouth boss’ response over homecoming for Newcastle United star with move under consideration

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John Mousinho admitted he’s in the dark about Matt Ritchie’s plans this summer as the prospect of a Fratton homecoming resurfaces.

The Pompey boss wouldn’t be drawn on the potential for a return to PO4 for the Newcastle United winger this summer.

The News understands Ritchie is now under consideration, however, as the Blues carry out their transfer work ahead of their Championship return.

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There’s a number of significant hurdles to overcome to see a return for the former academy graduate, however, as he leaves St James’ Park after eight years.

Mousinho was staying coy on interest in Ritchie, and stated he doesn’t currently have clarity about what his plans are for his next move.

He said: ‘With Matt, everyone at Portsmouth knows him and he’s had a fantastic career.

‘I don’t know what the circumstances around what Matt’s intentions are this summer.

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‘If it was one we were interested in I wouldn’t say anything - and if it wasn’t I’d still not say anything!’

A move for Ritchie would be a significant departure from the recruitment policy in place, since Rich Hughes’ arrival as sporting director in October 2022.

There would be the gains, however, of adding a hugely experienced professional to the ranks, who undoubtedly would raise standards in the Pompey dressing room.

Ritchie’s commitment to his trade also means he remains in excellent condition at the age of 34, with long spells of his career spent at the highest level with Newcastle and Bournemouth.

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The clearest issue is the Gosport lad’s wages are many times what the top earner at Fratton Park currently earns.

Ritchie will also not be short of offers, with a number of Championship sides likely to be on his trail this summer.

Many of those are certain to have greater resources Pompey will have at their disposal on their return to the second tier, and be able to comfortably accommodate the man who made 10 senior appearances at Fratton Park in their wage structures.

The commitment would be much greater for the Blues at this stage, however, with the debate whether they’d want to commit a fair portion of their budget to Ritchie.

Of course, Ritchie’s stated desire to turn out for Pompey again could be a weapon in the talented left footer coming to an agreement with his hometown club this summer.

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