How can Rafa discard one of his best players?
Sources close to Matt Ritchie have insisted that the Newcastle United winger has not held any talks about his future at St James' Park .
The Scotland international woke up to a report suggesting he had been told to leave the club by Rafa Benitez .
Newcastle have made it clear they are looking to bring in younger players in the next few windows as the club revert back to their policy of signing players with resale value.
However, with Benitez's future still uncertain - with no new deal signed yet - Toon sources say they are mystified by the reports linking with Ritchie with a summer exit.
Newcastle did consider selling Ritchie in the summer to Stoke City when a £17million deal was mooted, but neither club could agree a deal.
Instead Ritchie knuckled down and has been one of the standout performers of the season at United despite playing out of position at left wing-back.
Ritchie has also been linked with a move back to AFC Bournemouth in a swap deal for Ryan Fraser.
But he could opt to see out the remainder of his United contract with two years left to play.