Portsmouth reunion looks increasingly unlikely as former Fratton favourite Matt Ritchie expected to remain at Newcastle
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Ritchie, who has made 198 appearances for the Toon since his £12m move from Bournemouth in 2016, had been expected to leave the Premier League side upon the expiry of his contract later this month.
Howe had previously spoken on the midfielder’s desire for more game time and a wish to be closer to his family on the south coast. But, according to Football Insider, the Newcastle manager has been pushing hard to keep the experienced campaigner ahead of a 2023-24 top-flight campaign that will include Champions League football for the first time in 20 years.
And the belief is that Howe has succeeded, with Ritchie set to extend his seven-year stay in the north east by another season.
That will come as a blow to Blues fans who have been told that the Pompey Academy product will finish his career at Fratton Park. In addition, in 2020, the player himself insisted he had unfinished business with the club.
However, that now looks increasingly unlikely as Ritchie prepares to commit himself to one more year at St James’ Park.
The Fratton favourite made 10 appearances for the club, before being sold to Swindon in January 2011.
He featured just 10 times in all competitions for Newcastle during the 2022-23 season.