Newcastle United are reportedly ramping up their efforts to make Atletico Madrid and England defender Kieran Trippier their first January signing.

According to talkSPORT journalist Alex Crook, Newcastle United are closing in on the signing of Kieran Trippier from Atletico Madrid in January and are ready to make the right-back the highest-paid player in the club’s history.

After impressing in his spell with Tottenham Hotspur, reaching the 2018/19 Champions League final, the 31-year-old sealed a move to Spanish giants Atletico Madrid. He has been a consistent performer in Diego Simeone’s side and was instrumental to their La Liga title triumph last campaign.

In total, he has racked up 83 appearances for Los Colchoneros in all competitions, notching 11 assists along the way while providing a creative outlet on the right flank. Trippier is a full-fledged England international and has been a mainstay in Gareth Southgate’s setup over the years. The 35-time capped full-back was a key member of the team that reached the Euro 2020 final before eventually losing out on penalties.

Although Trippier has been sidelined until January with a shoulder injury, that has not stopped multiple clubs queueing up to sign him. Manchester United are still monitoring the player after previously holding talks last summer while Arsenal, Crystal Palace and Everton are also credited with interest. But it now seems that St. James’ Park will be his destination upon his return to the English top-flight as Newcastle’s new owners look to make a statement signing.

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Newcastle have made the Englishman their number one priority heading into the January transfer window, with the Toon boss Eddie Howe knowing Trippier well from his time at Burnley. In fact, Howe signed the right-back for the Clarets’ on loan from Manchester City in 2011 before making that deal permanent in mid-season.

Howe rates the England star’s leadership qualities and believes that it would raise the standards in the squad, which could be vital in their Premier League survival bid. The Magpies are currently 19th in the league table after winning just one game so far, having shipped the highest number of goals in the division (34). Still, only three points away from safety, they need to utilize the winter window smartly to stave off relegation.

Signing someone of Trippier’s stature would be a massive coup for the Magpies. He would bring in a wealth of top-level experience and be an upgrade on all their current options. Capable of operating as full-back or wing-back, the 31-year-old is an exceptional crosser of the ball, with high-quality chance creation, ball progression and link-up play some of his assets.

The Englishman is a sound and aggressive defender which will be a boost to the Magpies leaky backline. There is nothing mentioned about Atletico Madrid’s valuation of their prized asset in the report. Nevertheless, Newcastle seem to be in the driver’s seat to secure the 31-year-old’s signature.

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