Benitez pours cold water on Ritchie rumours

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Rafael Benitez has rubbished reports that claim Matt Ritchie has been told he can leave Newcastle United in the summer.

Rafael Benitez has rubbished reports that claim Matt Ritchie has been told he can leave Newcastle United in the summer.

Scotland international Ritchie has been a regular fixture for the Magpies since joining from Bournemouth in 2016 and has adapted to his new position at left wing-back superbly this season.

Recent reports suggested the 29-year-old, whose current contract at St James’ Park expires in the summer of 2021, asked the club for an extension, but this was rejected.

It was then believed Ritchie was told he would be allowed to leave in the upcoming transfer window, but Benitez has hit back these rumours and says they are absolute rubbish.

‘I am not happy when I see all the stories about Ritchie because they are not true,’ he said at a press conference.

‘My job is to prepare Ritchie for the next games.

I cannot give any advice about the future because I finish my contract on June 30.

‘It was not accurate.

It was not right.

It cannot [be right].

If I don’t have a contract after this month, how can I say to him, ‘I want to give you a contract.”

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