Di Canio happy to keep Ritchie

Robins boss never planned to let midfielder leave

Matt Ritchie: Paolo Di Canio insisted in-demand midfielder was never leaving in January

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Paolo Di Canio has insisted Swindon never considered selling in-demand midfielder Matt Ritchie before the transfer window closed.

The 10-goal man was wanted by Bournemouth, who made a fresh bid to sign the 22-year-old this week after previously seeing a £500k offer rejected by the Robins.

Di Canio has revealed the Cherries' offer was 'good money', however, that counted for little as the club had no intention of losing Ritchie this season.

The Italian believes the rising star will have significantly better offers in the summer when he sees out the campaign at the County Ground.

Opportunity

"There was good money, not crazy money but good money but it didn't matter. I said on Monday night he doesn't leave," he told the Swindon Advertiser.

"At this moment in time it is not good for him to go. Ritchie is a good fella and I am sure for the future he will have the opportunity to play in a higher league but for now it is better that he remains here.

"He can win with us, he can go to Wembley and in the summer he will have three times better opportunity. If we go up I am sure he will want to remain but anyway I decided that he stays here for now."

Promotion

Ritchie is looking forward to the remainder of the campaign and his sole focus is on helping the club win promotion.

"I am looking forward to the rest of the season at Swindon because we are strong contenders for promotion," he said.

"It is nice to be wanted and have other clubs see you are doing well but I am a Swindon player.

"When the time comes I'll have a sit down and think about what I want to do but I am enjoying my football at the moment and hopefully that will continue."