MATT Ritchie was last night sold to Swindon Town’s League One promotion rivals Bournemouth for a fee believed to be in the region of £500,000.
The winger agreed a three-and-a-half year deal at Dean Court after Town accepted the Cherries’ third approach for the winger in two years. It remains unclear who sanctioned the move, with potential new owners closing in on completing their takeover of the club.
A consortium headed by Banbury United owner Jed McCrory has exchanged contracts to take control at the County Ground, but until they have been ratified by the Football League they are not believed to be in sole control of transfer activity.
Ritchie said of his switch to Dorset: “It has come very quickly. There was speculation last year and there has been a little bit this window.
“It’s a great place to live, it’s a good club and well run as well.
“The uncreatainty at Swindon player a big part.
“I had good times at Swindon. “I was at Portsmouth when there were uncertain times and it’s not ideal and I felt like this was a great opportunity for me.”
The Swindon Advertiser understands Ritchie’s former club will benefit from a sell-on clause.
Elsewhere, Cheltenham manager Mark Yates has not ruled out a loan move for Town wide man Luke Rooney.
The ex-Gillingham midfielder has barely featured for Swindon under Paolo Di Canio in League One, and has previously spent time at Rotherham and Burton.
The Advertiser understands Bristol City are interested in the possibility of taking Robins striker Andy Williams to Ashton Gate. City boss Sean O’Driscoll is believed to be an admirer of the 26-year-old.
The deadline for players to agree to a move passes at 11pm tonight, and Swindon are hoping to be active during what is expected to be a busy day up and down the country.
Meetings are believed to have taken place with the new investors yesterday to discuss whether or not Di Canio will have funds at his disposal to launch a last-minute assault on the transfer market.
The Adver understands Sheffield Wednesday striker Gary Madine remains a top target for the Italian.
The forward, whose proposed move to Swindon in the emergency loan window in November fell through, is also wanted by Coventry.