NEWCASTLE UNITED are willing to include Matt Ritchie in a deal for Callum Wilson – and are hoping the swap arrangement will enable them to beat Aston Villa to the signing of the Bournemouth striker.

The Magpies have been in discussions with Bournemouth officials over Wilson for most of the summer, but have so far been unable to broker a deal for the 28-year-old, who is contracted at the Vitality Stadium until 2023.

Bournemouth have been demanding at least £20m for the England international, but with Steve Bruce understood to be working to a total summer transfer budget of around £35m, the Newcastle boss has been unwilling to commit such a large sum to one deal.

However, the situation has changed in the last few days, with Bournemouth indicating an interest in re-signing Ritchie, who left the Cherries to join Newcastle in a £10m deal in the summer of 2016.

Since then, Ritchie has become a hugely influential performer on Tyneside, playing in midfield and at left-back and left wing-back. He started all bar of Newcastle’s post-lockdown matches last season, but he will turn 31 next week and is increasingly regarded as expendable.

Whether Ritchie is willing to drop into the Championship remains to be seen, but the fact Newcastle are willing to consider such an option underlines the extent to which they are desperate to land Wilson in order to strengthen their attacking ranks.

Andy Carroll is currently Newcastle’s only available senior striker, and while club officials have held talks with Porto over Moussa Marega, Wilson’s Premier League experience makes him a much more desirable option.

Newcastle face strong competition from Aston Villa, and the Midlands club are understood to be willing to pay a higher up-front fee than the Magpies.

That had been expected to give them the edge in negotiations, but Bournemouth’s desire to re-sign Ritchie could tilt the balance back in Newcastle’s favour if a deal can be agreed that is acceptable to all parties.