Ritchie and Benitez sat down to discuss his Newcastle future last week, but the Scottish winger was reportedly told that he would not be offered new terms.
Ritchie’s current deal expires in two years’ time, and Ritchie wanted to commit to Newcastle for the long-term.
However, Benitez was reluctant to hand the winger a new deal, and has said that he is free to look for a new club.
Newcastle feel that Ritchie may need to be moved on, as he is now reaching an age where he has little re-sale value.
Ritchie is now 29, and Newcastle are reportedly keen to cash in on him in the summer transfer window.
Ritchie has been a key player for the Magpies this summer, but Benitez is keen to bring in added quality in the summer transfer window.