Newcastle United are “desperate” and they are being “held to ransom” over the signing of Kieran Trippier from Atletico Madrid, according to Noel Whelan.
It was reported on Monday that the Magpies were “increasingly confident” of signing Trippier.
They hope to complete the deal this week and they look set to pay a fee of around £25m to sign the defender.
The 31-year-old has previously had impressive spells in the Premier League with Burnley and Tottenham Hotspur. He has been with Atletico Madrid since 2019 and he is out of contract in 2023.
Trippier helped Diego Simeone’s side win La Liga in 2020/21. He has been capped 35 times by England since 2017.
Newcastle currently sit 19th in the Premier League. They are two points adrift of safety but they have played more games than Watford and Burnley who are above them.
Whelan believes Trippier is a great signing for Newcastle and they “can’t afford to wait” until the summer to bring him in:
“It’s the price of doing business in January,” Whelan told Football Insider.
“It just shows how desperate Newcastle are for experience and quality. That they’re willing to pay that much for a player coming out of contract very soon.
“Newcastle are being held to ransom a little bit by their league position.
“Sometimes you’ve got to take that hit financially in order to get that top-class player through the door. They need him now; they can’t afford to wait.
“He’s 31 years of age, yes, but he’s probably still also one of the best full-backs in England and the Premier League.
“He’ll be a massive help defensively, his experience, and also his delivery from set-pieces – he’s not a risk, he’ll give them three to four good years of service.“
“Newcastle should go to football’s equivalent of the dog rescue centre and pluck themselves a pedigree January signing,” Merson said.
“Dele Alli might not be just for Christmas. He might not even be there much after May if the Geordies do take the drop.
“But, for me, he’s definitely worth a punt and could prove to be an inspired acquisition.
“Dele’s talent isn’t in question. But he’s been out in the wilderness at Tottenham for far too long and he needs to do something.
“He could be an absolute hero at St James’ Park.”