Newcastle are hopeful of completing a deal for England defender Kieran Trippier as they prepare launch their January rescue mission in earnest.
It is understood that ongoing discussions between the Magpies, backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, and Atletico Madrid are progressing in encouraging fashion, and reports from Spain on Tuesday suggested the fullback did not train with his team-mates.
Trippier played the full 90 minutes in Atletico’s 2-0 LaLiga victory over Rayo Vallecano on Sunday and pointedly took his time after the final whistle to applaud fans who watched him help the club claim its first league title in seven years years last season.
However, sources on Tyneside were insisting on Tuesday afternoon that he was not in Newcastle amid speculation that his arrival was imminent.
The 31-year-old joined the Madrid club from Tottenham for £20million in July 2019 and has made 83 appearances since, but Newcastle are hoping to persuade him to swap Champions League football for a new adventure back in England.
Amanda Staveley’s consortium, which includes Jamie Reuben as well as the PIF, has embarked upon a recruitment drive aimed both at preserving the club’s Premier League status and providing a foundation for future success.
However, while their new-found spending power has excited fans, luring the players they want to the north-east may be easier said than done with relegation a very real threat.
Eddie Howe’s men currently lie one place from the foot of the table having collected only 11 points from their first 19 games with they, Norwich, Burnley and Watford seemingly engaged in a four-way survival shoot-out.
The Magpies have drawn up an extensive list of targets, although reports from France suggest they have to date been given little encouragement in their pursuit of Lille defender Sven Botman, while they have also been linked with, among others, Burnley defender James Tarkowski, Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey and Zenit St Petersburg striker Sardar Azmoun.