Sources: Atletico seeking Trippier replacement

Clubs

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Atletico Madrid are looking at potential replacements for Kieran Trippier, sources have told ESPN, with the club believing the completion of a deal to take the right-back to Newcastle United is now just a matter of time.

Talks between Atletico and Newcastle have progressed well in recent days and Trippier, 31, has been open to a return to the Premier League since being tempted by a move to Manchester United last summer.

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Trippier missed Atletico training on Tuesday morning, which the club have said is due to fatigue after the defender played 90 minutes of their 2-0 win over Rayo Vallecano in LaLiga on Sunday.

However, sources have told ESPN that an agreement with Newcastle is close and that the search for a player to replace Trippier is already underway.

Atletico would favour a full-back who could also operate effectively at centre-back, sources said.

Coach Diego Simeone called Trippier an “extraordinary” player on Sunday, insisting that “we want him to stay,” but added “nowadays you can’t hold someone prisoner.”

“There are millions of explanations” for why the England international might want to leave the Spanish champions to join Newcastle, he said.

ESPN reported last month that Atletico were expecting to receive a formal offer for Trippier from the Premier League club when the January transfer window opened.

Newcastle are looking to strengthen their squad to try to avoid relegation from the top-flight and have significant funds available after being taken over by a group led by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

Trippier signed for Atletico from Tottenham Hotspur for a fee of €25 million in July 2019.

He soon became a key player for the club, making 68 LaLiga appearances in two-and-a-half years and helping them win the league title last season for the first time since 2014.

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