Kieran Trippier is attracting late interest from Chelsea despite Newcastle United already submitting a bid for the Atletico Madrid full-back, according to a report.
Newcastle have made Trippier one of their top targets for the January transfer window. A move would be symbolic of their new era, as they aim to attract higher-profile players. Signing an England international from the reigning Spanish champions would be a coup.
Such a move seems to be realistic, too. Despite being in a relegation battle, Newcastle would be a destination Trippier would consider. Indeed, they could insert a relegation clause into his contract to help persuade him.
Right now, the ball is in Trippier’s court. Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone has confirmed the club will follow his wishes when deciding whether to accept Newcastle’s bid.
But it may not be the only one they receive, because the Northern Echo are reporting of a late move from Chelsea to hijack the deal.
A recent report revealed as many as nine Premier League clubs were showing interest in Trippier. Chelsea were not named at the time, but may well have been one of the anonymous sides not mentioned.
The report from the Northern Echo suggests that Atletico are still waiting to receive a better offer for Trippier. And it may arrive from Chelsea.
Per the source – and following similar claims from The Guardian – Thomas Tuchel has asked Chelsea to make a move for the 31-year-old.
Kieran Trippier to cover for Reece James?
The Blues boss has growing concerns about a lack of depth in the full-back areas. On the right-hand side, Trippier’s England colleague Reece James will miss around two months due to a recent hamstring tear.
Cesar Azpilicueta, who has mainly been playing in the back three rather than as a wing-back under Tuchel, is out of contract at the end of the season. There are fears they could also lose their captain.
Therefore, Tuchel wants to replenish the ranks and could be considering Trippier. The former Burnley and Tottenham man has plenty of Premier League experience to help.
Furthermore, the fact that Trippier can also play on the left-hand side of defence – where Chelsea are without Ben Chilwell due to an ACL injury – also appeals.
It will therefore be up to Chelsea to put together a better offer than Newcastle to both Atletico and Trippier. In the latter’s case, the fact they have Champions League football on offer may help.
Newcastle will be hoping the prior work they have done on a deal for Trippier may still give them the edge, though. Furthermore, the Bury-born defender may prefer to be in the north of England than London if he returns to his homeland.