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Howe – who wants to sign two more attacking players before the transfer deadline – has suggested that any further departures will be dependent on incomings later in the window.
“Off the top of my head, and without going into too much detail, I don’t think there’ll be too many more outgoings at this moment in time,” said Howe. “We’re OK, touch wood, for injuries at the moment, but the numbers in the squad aren’t huge. We’re carrying, probably, a well-balanced squad currently.”
Howe addressed long-serving Ritchie’s future last month. United’s head coach said: “I think it's well documented my relationship with Matty, we go so far back, and the respect for him I have as a person. He's been incredible for me.
"He will have his own thoughts. Mine is to try and keep him, but it's well documented that Matty’s been a way from his family for a long period of time.
"He loves playing for Newcastle – and is very passionate about the club – but, I think, it’s unclear what direction we’ll take this year. But, from both sides, there’s a lot of respect."
Ritchie played in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Athletic Bilbao.