Middlesbrough 'in talks' over £15m move for Newcastle's Matt Ritchie

Matt Ritchie
Matt Ritchie

Middlesbrough and Stoke City are battling to sign Matt Ritchie, according to a report.

The Daily Telegraph claim the Championship clubs have held "detailed discussions" with Newcastle United over moves for the winger.

Ritchie was an influential figure on and off the pitch last season as Rafa Benitez guided the club to a 10th-placed finish.

The 28-year-old, signed from Bournemouth two years ago, scored three goals, including the strike against Arsenal that all but secured United's top-flight status.

Benitez is looking to move a number of players out of the club this summer, notably Aleksandar Mitrovic, Chancel Mbemba and Matz Sels.

The Mail understands that there is genuine interest in Ritchie. However, it is not clear whether it would be prepared to sell the Scotland international, who is reportedly rated in the £15million-bracket by Newcastle.

The Telegraph claim that Benitez has an "open mind" about Ritchie's future.

Ritchie was one of Benitez's first signings, and he scored 12 league goals during United's Championship-winning campaign.