Sunday’s victory over Rayo Vallecano was possibly Kieran Trippier’s final game for Atlético Madrid.
Outlets in England and in Spain reported throughout the day Monday that Trippier’s mooted transfer to Newcastle United is likely to happen this month — and the deal could be concluded as soon as this week.
Trippier is not expected to play in Atlético’s Copa del Rey game against Rayo Majadahonda on Thursday, especially as his departure appears closer and closer. Atleti are said to be actively seeking a replacement after Newcastle lodged an offer that simply could not be refused.
In addition to offering the right-back a contract worth €9 million per year, the Saudi Arabia-backed consortium now running Newcastle is prepared to pay a fee between €28 million and €30 million (if not higher) to secure Trippier’s transfer.
(In theory, spending over €50 million total on defender into his 30s is a hefty expenditure, but it’s ultimately chump change to the new owners looking to kickstart a new sporting/sportswashing project in the Premier League.)
Assuming the deal goes through on terms similar to those already mooted, Atlético will make a profit on a 31-year-old right-back whose contract expires in less than 18 months and who is performing at a level far below what he displayed last season. Even though Diego Simeone and the club are loath to lose Trippier, hoping he would stay until the summer, they have to be realistic — the team is not competing for the league title this year and should not force Trippier to stay if it is contrary to his will.
As far as potential replacements go, expect Atlético to be linked with many names throughout the month. Barcelona’s American right-back Sergiño Dest was mentioned on Monday, along with Leicester’s Ricardo Pereira and Lille’s Zeki Çelik (who nearly signed for Atleti last summer). Marca claims Simeone wants a right-back who can double as a central defender à la Chelsea captain César Azpilicueta, but he will not leave London before his contract runs out in June.