Newcastle United and Steve Bruce have differing views on whether to offer Matt Ritchie and Jonjo Shelvey new contracts, according to The Chronicle.
Bruce wants Ritchie and Shelvey tied down to new deals. However, the Newcastle hierarchy is worried about their age. With little sell-on value, new contracts are on hold at the moment.
Ritchie has been with Newcastle since 2016, initially joining the club in the Championship. Since then, he has operated in a number of positions from the wing, to the number 10 role and even at left-back and wing-back.
The Scotland international, 30, has played four games this season and 129 times in total for the Magpies. He is currently out injured and he has a contract lasting until summer 2021 so he is not an immediate priority.
Shelvey is also contracted until summer 2021. The sporadic England international has had a mixed spell at Newcastle, playing 116 times since January 2016. This season, he has played five games, scoring once.
The 27-year-old has had his injury problems over the past few seasons and this is why the club will stall over extending his deal. Shelvey might be playing for his future if he can get back into the side. The report adds that contract talks will be postponed for these two players if there is a relegation battle.
Shelvey’s task of getting back into the team has just been made harder by Matty Longstaff’s debut. The ex-Liverpool and Swansea midfielder needs to rediscover his form from when he first joined the club to secure his long-term future.
Ritchie is a handy player who offers commitment, desire and versatility. His experience could be vital in a relegation battle and he should be given a new deal.