There has been a great deal of talk surrounding Newcastle United's transfer activity this summer, both in terms of new signings and retaining their current stars, as the club look ahead to life in the Championship.
The Sun claims that Rafael Benitez has lined up a £10 million deal to bring Ritchie to St. James' Park and strengthen the Tyneside club's bid for promotion next term.
The winger has been one of the biggest stars of the show at the Vitality Stadium since his arrival from Swindon Town in 2013, and has helped to lead the club from League One to Premier League survival in his time on the south coast.
Last term, in his first Premier League campaign, the Scotland international missed just two league matches and weighed in with four goals including a goal-of-the-season contender against Sunderland.
Ritchie would certainly bring more quality in wide areas for the Magpies in the second tier next season, but any potential move may hinge on the future of Townsend.
Reacting to the reports on Twitter, many Newcastle fans were delighted with the idea of bringing Ritchie to St. James' Park, highlighting his Championship experience with a winning Bournemouth side as a huge positive.
Just seen we've been linked with Matt Ritchie. Doubt it'll happen but I'd love it if we signed him from Bournemouth. #NUFC— Mark Ooi (@MarkOoiZW) June 26, 2016
Matt Ritchie would be a good signing, and is the type of player we need to be looking at this summer.— Jacob Jackman (@JakeJackmann) June 26, 2016
I hope there is truth in #NUFC being offered Matt Ritchie I think he has quality— Tyler (@Tyler_S9) June 26, 2016
100% take Matt Ritchie at #NUFC Hard-working midfielder with an absolute cannon up his sleeve.— Dan (@Deej89) June 26, 2016
I would definitely take Matt Ritchie to #NUFC Knows the Championship very well and a very good player— Alan (@OskarEriksson) June 26, 2016
However, there was one concern amongst Magpies supporters at the surfacing speculation, as some fans fear the Cherries star is being lined up as a replacement for key man Townsend rather than to play alongside him.
Would take Matt Ritchie but not at the expense of Townsend as being suggested #NUFC— Andrew Miller (@NorthEast_29) June 26, 2016
If we can keep Townsend and get Ritchie I'd be buzzing— Shaun Menzies (@SHAUNMENZIES) June 26, 2016
Surprised to hear about the link with Ritchie from Bournemouth. Would love it to happen but not if it meant losing Townsend. #nufc— Ross Lindsay (@RossLindsay22) June 26, 2016