... help the Magpies push for promotion - but possibly as a replacement for England international wide man Andros Townsend.
Ritchie, 26, hit four goals and six assists for Bournemouth last season, playing a huge part as the Cherries achieved Premier League survival.
The Scottish international is now in demand having impressed out on the right hand side for Bournemouth, and the report claims that Newcastle are now hoping to beat Premier League side West Ham United to Ritchie's signature in a £10m deal this summer.
That's partly because Benitez allegedly expects to lose winger Townsend this summer, with the former Tottenham ace attracting admiring glances from Premier League clubs despite only signing for Newcastle during the January transfer window.
It's claimed that Crystal Palace are keen to land Townsend and could even offer striker Dwight Gayle in part-exchange, with Benitez now lining up Ritchie as a possible replacement for England international Townsend should he leave St. James' Park this summer.