Newcastle United have reportedly moved ahead of Manchester United in the race to sign Kieran Trippier from Atletico Madrid.
The 31-year-old was heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford in the summer, but the impressive pre-season form of Diogo Dalot convinced United that they had sufficient options at right-back.
The Red Devils’ hesitancy in pursuing Trippier has seen Newcastle move in, and Teamtalk reports that the Magpies have already “started negotiations” to bring the England internati onal to St James’ Park in January, whose current deal at Atletico expires in June 2023.
“I hear from Atletico Madrid that Newcastle are really interested in getting Trippier, and they have started negotiations with his people,” said Spanish football journalist Guillem Balagué on BBC Radio 5 Live, in quotes via The Sun.
“I am not sure if they will get him or not.”
But it is believed that Newcastle face a big task in convincing Trippier to join a Premier League dogfight, with Atletico only five points adrift of La Liga leaders Real Sociedad with a game in hand.
A move to United, despite their recent on-field struggles, is surely a more attractive option for the former Tottenham Hotspur defender, and will give hope to the Red Devils, should they wish to revive their approach.
Current first-choice right-back, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, has been brought under increasing scrutiny, with Paul Scholes bemoaning his lack of ability on the ball.
“Wan-Bissaka is useless on the ball – brilliant defender but useless on the ball at right-back,” he told Premier League Productions in quotes published by The Mirror.
Trippier is deemed to be a much better outlet going forward compared to Wan-Bissaka, and a bid of £22million could be enough for Atletico to offload a player whose current market value is listed at £18million.
The Bury-born defender is currently in his third season at the Wanda Metropolitano after making a move from Spurs in July 2019.
He has made 83 appearances for Diego Simeone’s side to date and registered 11 assists during that time.