Newcastle close in on Ritchie and Gayle – reports

Zach Holland

Newcastle are set to beat West Ham to the signing of Bournemouth winger Matt Ritchie, while Dwight Gayle is also said to be heading to Tyneside. 

Despite interest from West Ham and other Premier League clubs, Ritchie is understood to be willing to drop into the Championship with Newcastle, who are confident of securing a deal worth £12million, according to the Daily Mirror.

Crystal Palace forward Gayle is also heading for St James’ Park, with Sky Sports and other sources reporting that the 25-year-old will undergo a medical after Newcastle agreed a deal with the Eagles.

Gayle looks likely to be heading in the opposite direction to Andros Townsend, with Palace set to trigger the England winger’s buy-out clause.

Ritchie impressed after stepping up to the Premier League with Bournemouth last year, making 36 appearances scoring four times, including a goal of the season contender against Sunderland.

The former Swindon man has made 129 appearances for the Cherries, notching 31 goals.

Andros Townsend

Gayle was also a target for Aston Villa and Fulham but the 25-year-old has reportedly agreed personal terms to join Rafael Benitez’s side.  He joined Palace from Peterborough in 2013 for £6million and went on to score 26 goals in 74 appearances.

Townsend joined Newcastle in January from Tottenham and the winger shone on Tyneside, despite the Magpies’ relegation. The 24-year-old, though, is desperate to regain his place in the England squad after he was one of three players cut when Roy Hodgson announced his 23-man party for Euro 2016.