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Newcastle close to agreeing new deals for pair signed by Steve McClaren

Newcastle are looking to kickstart their transfer window by tying down two important players down to new deals, according to the Chronicle.

What’s the word?

Jonjo Shelvey and Matt Ritchie have been ever-present for the Magpies in recent years with 130 and 126 appearances made respectively, featuring often under three different managers after being signed by Steve McClaren.

Ritchie has seen his game time limited to three Premier League outings this term due to injury. But prior to that he was picked to start regularly by Steve Bruce and with 12 months left on his contract the Newcastle boss is thought to be keen on securing his future for longer.

In fact, it is believed that the pair have each agreed deals “in principle”, and therefore it may just be a matter of time before the new contracts are confirmed.

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Long-term project

The fact that two players who have both been at the club for several years want to stay is a positive for Newcastle, and for the plan Bruce is attempting to put in place.

While it is a shame that injury has hampered Ritchie’s season, Shelvey has flourished under his new boss with five goals this campaign, an amount he has never bettered in a single season at St. James’ Park.

Bruce’s faith and trust in the midfielder has been rewarded with performances on the pitch and the fact that the duo are keen to renew hints that they are happy playing under the Magpies boss.

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After signing for £12m Ritchie has struggled with consistency a little, making 25 assists and scoring 22 times in 135 appearances, but if Bruce can get the best out of him like he has with Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin, he could become a key threat.

That pair have achieved an average of 1.4 and 4.5 dribbles per game, while £12m Shelvey has orchestrated attacks for both wingers with 1.7 key passes per game.

Do Shelvey and Ritchie deserve new contracts?

Shelvey does

Shelvey does

Ritchie does

Ritchie does

Neither deserve a new contract

Neither deserve a new contract

Tying them down to new deals will allow Bruce to plan for the future and bring in players that fit well alongside them, which will perhaps enable Newcastle to improve upon a return of 21 goals in 22 league games.

In transfer news, the club is reportedly interested in a £15m signing who could solve a major problem for Bruce in one key area.

Article title: Newcastle close to agreeing new deals for pair signed by Steve McClaren

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