Newcastle United

Newcastle United

Premier League • England

Newcastle leapfrog Man Utd as talks begin with ideal Solskjaer problem solver

Atletico Madrid trio Kieran Trippier, Stefan Savic and Marcos Llorente 2021

Newcastle have stolen a march on Manchester United after entering negotiations with a transfer target who would be perfect for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s new system, per a report.

Amid a spell of indifferent form and an inability to keep clean sheets, Solskjaer recently switched to a back three. That sparked the ire of club legend Paul Scholes, who claimed the new system doesn’t suit Aaron Wan-Bissaka in particular when labelling him “useless” on the ball

The 23-year-old is a defensive-minded full-back. As such, it has come as no surprise to see him struggle with the greater attacking responsibility as a wingback.

One player who would suit that system to a tee is summer United target, Kieran Trippier.

The Atletico Madrid right-back, 31, was reportedly courted by the Red Devils during the summer. Trippier was reportedly also keen to make the move. However, with a deal failing to materialise – together with the impressive pre-season form of Diogo Dalot – United ultimately ended their chase.

But if Solskjaer persists with his new formation, a more potent attacking threat could be targeted on the right side.

That would likely see links to Trippier re-emerge. But the club look to have already fallen behind Newcastle in the race.

The cash-rich Magpies have already ‘started negotiations’ with Trippier ahead of a proposed January transfer. That’s according to Spanish football expert Guillem Balague.

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Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, Balague recently said (via the Sun): “I hear from Atletico Madrid that Newcastle are really interested in getting Trippier, and they have started negotiations with his people.

“I am not sure if they will get him or not.”

Balague’s uncertainty as to whether Newcastle’s approach will succeed will give United fans hope. If United came back in for Trippier, common sense would dictate he would choose the Red Devils. Entering a relegation dogfight with Newcastle will likely put off many of their January targets.

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The report suggests a £22m bid could enough to twist Atletico’s arm. Trippier has 18 months remaining on his current deal, making the next window the ideal time for Diego Simeone’s side to maximise their profit.

At 31 and with Trippier’s contract running down, waiting any longer will see their potential returns quickly diminish.

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Newcastle eyeing Man Utd star Solskjaer could recall

Meanwhile, a rarely seen Manchester United star is attracting interest from 13 clubs including Newcastle and Watford, though recent events could see him handed a reprieve by Solskjaer, claims a report.

The club’s leaky defence prompted Solskjaer to switch to a back three. However, Raphael Varane’s untimely hamstring injury has left him light at the back for that formation.

As such, the Sun claim Phil Jones could be brought back into the mix nearly two years after his last appearance for the club.

Still only 29, Jones has time on his side to re-establish himself in the top flight. However, if United show any indication Jones’ future lays away from Old Trafford, 13 clubs are ready to pounce.

That’s according to the Sun, who claim Newcastle and Watford comprise Jones’ Premier League interest.

The pair are reportedly weighing up January loan moves for the veteran centre-half, with Jones fully recovered from his injury hell.

READ MORE: Paper Talk: Erik ten Hag stance on leaving Ajax for Man Utd revealed amid Solskjaer sack talk; Newcastle close on Atletico star