Newcastle United are confident of completing a deal to bring England full-back Kieran Trippier to St James’ Park.
Head coach Eddie Howe heads into the January transfer window, which opens in three days’ time, with a long list of targets under consideration.
With the club’s new and wealthy Saudi Arabian-backed owners, it is hoped the Magpies can flex their financial power and sign the players needed to achieve Premier League survival.
That said, the winter market is far from easy - and that’s before the tag of the “richest club/ owners in the world” is mentioned.
Inevitably, inflated price-tags are being thrown United’s way, not only because that tends to be the case in January, but because of their reported new-found riches.
One player who appears likely to finalise a move to Tyneside however is Trippier, with the 31-year-old keen to return to his homeland after two-and-a-half-years in Spain at Atletico Madrid.
NewcastleWorld understands there are still areas of the deal that need to be ironed out, however there is genuine hope a transfer and wages can be agreed upon, which would be an early statement of intent by the new owners.
Why would signing Kieran Trippier be a statement of intent?
Trippier was a part of Gareth Southgate’s England squad that reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in 2018 - where he scored that free-kick against Croatia - and the one that lost to Italy on penalties at Euro 2020 earlier this year.
That said, Trippier was left out of the previous Three Lions squad for World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Albania, with competition in the full-back spots the highest it’s ever been before.
Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ben Chilwell, Kyle Walker, Reece James and Luke Shaw were named ahead of Trippier last time out, so he may feel a return to the Premier League is required in order to secure his place on the plane to Qatar next November.
Beyond his international career, Trippier started for Tottenham Hotspur in their Champions League final defeat to Liverpool in 2019. Last season, he helped Atletico Madrid lift the La Liga title.
Trippier’s high profile, and the fact he’d be leaving a club in the Champions League to join one battling against relegation might be enough to convince a few other standout names to follow him to St James’ Park.
Howe signed Trippier for Burnley from Manchester City on a permanent basis in 2012 before he earned a move to Spurs, three years later.
Trippier is open to working with Howe again at Newcastle and not fazed by the challenge of keeping United in the top-flight.