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Newcastle winger Ritchie confident Benitez will stay

Newcastle United winger Matt Ritchie is “optimistic" that manager Rafa Benitez will sign a new contract with the club.

Benitez stated on Monday that he would speak this week with owner Mike Ashley over the new deal.

"I don't really want to talk about that because I don't think we're going to [lose him]," 29-year-old Ritchie replied when asked about what the club would do without Benitez.

“I'm optimistic that he will stay; I hope he stays, everyone hopes he stays. There is no point talking about ifs and buts, as we don't know yet, let's just wait and see."

Asked whether he had a hunch Benitez would sign a new deal, Ritchie responded: "I think so – hopefully, yeah."

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Paul Vegas

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