AFC Bournemouth winger Matt Ritchie has signed a new three and a half year deal at Dean Court, following speculation linking him with a move to Fulham.
Ritchie’s current deal hadn’t been set to expire until the end of the 2015/16 season, however the Cherries have opted to reward the winger with a new improved deal which is now set to run until the end of the 2017/18 campaign.
After being linked with the Cherries on numerous occasions while both Lee Bradbury and Paul Groves were in charge of the team, Eddie Howe completed the signing in January 2013.
A bid of around £500,000 was accepted by Swindon, who were in the midst of some financial insecurities and a takeover bid.
The offer was considerably less than the Cherries had previously offered Swindon during failed transfer attempts.
Ritchie settled well into the side and made 17 appearances during the second half of the season as the Cherries won promotion from League One.
The following season he was once again a regular as the Cherries enjoyed their step up to the Championship under Eddie Howe, with Ritchie making 32 appearances scoring nine goals.
Thus far this season Ritchie has scored seven goals and is the Championships leading assist maker with eleven after 29 appearances.
AFC Bournemouth chief executive Neill Blake told the Daily Echo…
“Once we had discussed a new contract with Matt, he didn`t take long to make his decision and that spoke volumes to us about him. He clearly sees what we are trying to achieve here and wants to be part of it. Matt has been integral to our success ever since he joined us.
“The manager has moulded an excellent and exciting squad, which is possibly the strongest in the club`s history, and we have seen the fruits of that over the past couple of years. Everybody here is determined to keep progressing to take the club forward.
“It has been said many times already that we are no longer a selling club and the days of seeing our best players leave are long gone. The manager and his staff work tirelessly on improving the players and keeping our squad intact should send out a message about how times have changed here.”
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