Kieran Trippier has completed his move from Atlético Madrid to Newcastle United, who are confident the England right-back will prove the first of several statement signings made by the Saudi Arabian-led regime at St James’ Park.
Trippier flew to Newcastle on a private jet from Spain on Tuesday and passed a medical before completing a deal Newcastle claim is worth an initial £12m, rising to £15m with assorted add-ons but which Atlético have suggested is closer to the £25m mark.
Whatever the 31-year-old’s cost, Trippier’s reunion with Eddie Howe, the manager who signed him for Burnley, has come in time for his installation in the team’s defence for the vital Premier League home game against relegation rivals Watford on Saturday week. He may though make his debut during Saturday’s third-round FA Cup tie against League One Cambridge United at St James’ Park. He has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal.
Trippier said: “I’m delighted to be joining this fantastic club. I really enjoyed my time in Madrid, but when I became aware of interest from Newcastle United, and having worked with Eddie Howe before, I knew this was where I wanted to be.
“I’m aware there is a lot of work ahead of us but I know the demands of Premier League well and I know what an amazing club this is with very talented players. I can’t wait to get started and I’m excited to step out at St. James’ Park as a Newcastle player.”
By the time of Watford’s visit Howe, whose side have won once all season and remain in the bottom three, will hope to have recruited a centre-half as well as a centre-forward to replace the injured Callum Wilson, whose torn calf muscle could sideline him for a couple of months.
Although Newcastle have made a bid for Lille’s defender Sven Botman, the Ligue 1 club rejected it and, reluctant to sell, are believed to be holding out for more than £30m for the 21-year-old.
It may be somewhat easier for Newcastle to secure Aaron Ramsey’s transfer from Juventus but although the Wales midfielder seems open to such a move and is very much on the way out in Turin, defence and attack appear more urgent priorities on Tyneside, where Trippier will earn more than £100,000 a week
Howe covets a central midfielder and the idea of Ramsey arriving on loan does not seem entirely out of the question. On Wednesday the Juventus manager, Massimiliano Allegri, described Ramsey as an “outgoing player”.
Newcastle have an interest in the Everton left-back Lucas Digne, who has fallen out with Rafael Benítez, but it is believed Digne is not enamoured of the idea of relocating to a club in a relegation skirmish.
Howe, reflecting on the signing of Trippier, said: “A lot of hard work has gone into planning for the January transfer window long before the month began, which is clear in how quickly we have been able to complete this move.”
Meanwhile Amanda Staveley and her fellow directors continue to talk to Brighton’s Dan Ashworth about a potential switch to the north-east, where he would work alongside Howe as director of football.