Willems, whose loan at Newcastle last season was cut short by a ligament injury, has a contract with Eintracht Frankfurt running out at the end of the season.

 

With Willems set to be available on a free transfer after leaving the Bundesliga club this summer, the Magpies are said to have rekindled their interest in signing the wing-back.

 

 

It has even been claimed in Germany that the Tyneside-based club are close to acquiring the services of the Netherlands international on a free transfer.

 

However,  Newcastle’s move for the 27-year-old wing-back hinges on Ritchie’s future at St. James’ Park.

 

 

Ritchie has a contract with the Magpies until the summer of 2023, but has been linked with a move away from the club ahead of the summer transfer window.

 

The 31-year-old, who has been a regular starter for Newcastle over the last two months, expressed his frustration at a lack of playing time earlier this season and it remains to be seen if he will be the subject of serious interest from others clubs this summer.

 

 

With Ritchie possibly on his way out of the club this summer, the Magpies view Willems as a direct replacement for the Scotland international.

 

However, Willems’ lack of playing time at Eintracht Frankfurt could be an issue under the point-based work permit system, which was introduced on the back of the UK leaving the European Union.