Kieran Trippier makes 'frustrating' Newcastle United claim and reveals Harry Kane text message

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The Newcastle United defender has opened up on interest from one of European football's biggest clubs.

Kieran Trippier has admitted he was ‘flattered’ by interest from Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich during the January transfer window - but is adamant he is firmly focused on rewarding ‘crazy’ Newcastle United supporters by ending their long wait for silverware.

Trippier’s signing during the early days of the January 2022 transfer window kickstarted the Magpies renaissance after supporters were subjected to a lack of investment and ambition under former owner Mike Ashley and seemed to herald the start of a rejuvenation of fortunes on Tyneside. And there can be no doubt the England international has been an overwhelming success and a standard-bearer for a club that will consistently strive for more on and off the pitch as they look to force their way into contention for major honours on a regular basis.

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However, there was some concern that United could lose their inspirational defender during the January transfer window after Trippier was the subject of intense interest and a number of unsuccessful offers from Bayern as the German champions looked to resolve their issues on the right-hand side of their defence. Newcastle remained firm in their stance that Trippier was not for sale unless they received an offer they simply could not turn down.

Such an offer failed to arrive once the transfer window came to a close and Trippier remains a key part of Eddie Howe’s plans for the future at St James Park - and despite conceding the interest from Bayern was flattering, Trippier stressed he never tried to force a move to reunite with his former Tottenham Hotspur team-mates Eric Dier and Harry Kane at Bayern.

Speaking at the recent North East Football Writers Awards after being named as Player of the Year, the Magpies star said: “It’s actually crazy, to be honest, because I was in New York and I was woken up at 5am their time saying, 'Bayern Munich want to sign you', so I was like, 'This is a bit random'.

"I never thought at 33-year-old that Bayern Munich would want to sign me, so it was more of a shock to me than anybody. Then I just got on the phone to the manager straight away and to be honest the manager knows the commitment I've got for the club. I never once tried to force a move out of the club. I'm here now and the owners know the commitment I have shown to the club. I speak to Harry (Kane) all the time. Harry was texting me, of course, but it just wasn't the right thing for me. But I take it as a compliment that a club like Bayern Munich wanted to sign me."

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Links with Bayern, memorable European nights against Paris Saint-Germain and a major cup final appearance could have not have been further from Trippier’s mind when he agreed to join a relegation threatened Newcastle just months after a PIF-led takeover had been completed.

After resisting late attempts to persuade him to stay at Atletico Madrid that continued up until the point he put pen-to-paper and undertook media duties at St James Park, Trippier’s sole focus was on helping his new side maintain their Premier League status. Such was his confidence that a successful battle against the drop could be completed, the England international refused any notion of playing a relegation release clause into his contract.

“When I first arrived, I wanted to come and help the club. Obviously they were in a difficult position at the time, but I'm the type of player I'm not really bothered, I want to help and I'm absolutely delighted with the progress that we've made. If I'm going to be honest, I think we've gone a lot faster than we expected, reaching the Champions League, Carabao Cup final, so it's been unbelievable and I think the manager deserves massive credit for that.

“I let people speak because I've had that my whole career, where I've been judged on certain things. But I didn't have a relegation clause, I did not come for the money – I think I've made that clear plenty of times – just the pure enjoyment of playing football. I knew the manager very well and I just wanted a change and bring my family back to England."

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Despite receiving tentative interest from other Premier League clubs, the presence of Eddie Howe at Newcastle played a key role in persuading Trippier to move to Tyneside. The Magpies boss worked with Trippier during his time in charge at Burnley and a lasting impression had been made during their time at Turf Moor.

Trippier said: “I've played for the manager before and he's a big help for me. I know what he demands and what he expects, and he gives me the freedom to go forward. He's a top manager. I have a huge respect for him. He's had the belief to sign me twice now and I think he brings the best out of me. He's changed a lot, to be honest. His style of play is very front-foot, very attacking. The good thing about the gaffer is he is honest, that's what everybody loves about him, every players loves about him. He's honest with you and he wants to improve players and that's there for everybody to see how much he has improved individuals in this team and as a team. I think he's been a huge success for Newcastle since he's arrived.”

Despite enduring a challenging season where injuries have hit the Newcastle squad and key players, including Tripper has suffered from lulls in form, the Magpies remain in the hunt for a European place and will hope to pull off a shock and reach their first FA Cup semi-final since 2005 when they face Manchester City next weekend. After getting a taste of life at European football’s top table by going head-to-head with AC Milan, Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain earlier this season, Trippier has insisted the Magpies must target a return to the Champions league as soon as possible and challenged his side to produce a strong end to a season of contrasting emotions.

He said: “I’ve played in the Champions League a lot and I took that risk of not playing in the Champions League when I came to Newcastle. I never thought I would be back in it so soon but I took that choice and I never look back on any decision I make with regret. I always look positive, I look forward and this is certainly a decision I don’t regret.

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“That has to be the aim (getting back into the Champions League), we’ve had the taste of it, we have the squad to compete in the Champions League but the frustrating thing this season is we’ve not had that squad together. I think the season would have been different and you look at the Villa game at the start of the season and then to November when we were down to the bare bones but the lads deserve huge credit, they’ve stepped up and hopefully we will be back in the Champions League but we just have to finish the season strong."

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