England defender Kieran Trippier heaped praise on the "unbelievable" Jude Bellingham after he played a starring role in the Three Lions' 6-2 hammering of Iran in their World Cup opener.

Bellingham came straight into England's starting XI for the clash at the Khalifa International Stadium on Monday, with Gareth Southgate somewhat catching fans off-guard by naming an attack-minded team.

Their attacking mentality certainly paid off, as did the selection of Bellingham, who opened the scoring just past the half-hour mark with a fine header after a trademark late run into the box, making him England's second-youngest World Cup goalscorer of all time.

While that was the only goal or assist the 19-year-old recorded, Bellingham also played a part in the build-up to Raheem Sterling making it 3-0, and he also released Callum Wilson when the Newcastle United striker set up Jack Grealish's late tap-in.

Bellingham offered drive and purpose to an England midfield often criticised for being too negative, and Trippier was full of admiration.

"Bellingham is an unbelievable player for such a young age," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"He is playing at such a high level and he is not afraid. He's got to keep his feet on the ground and keep performing at a high level, like I know he will."

Bukayo Saka also caught the eye for England, scoring two very well-taken goals.

With Bellingham and the Arsenal man both netting, it was the first time in World Cup history that England had two players aged 21 or younger score in a single game, and the impact of the Three Lions' youngsters left Trippier thrilled.

"I'm delighted for them, getting the first goals in the first game," he continued.

"They've all worked so hard. They have great experience for such a young age. Now, it's just about expressing themselves and enjoying it, that's the most important thing.

"I'm 32 years old, and I'm enjoying every game. If I'm playing or not, I will always be ready."

England are next in action against the United States on Friday. Iran face Wales the same day.

Callum Wilson left Newcastle United's 4-1 win over Southampton as he was feeling unwell, rather than due to any injury that might have hurt his World Cup chances.

Wilson has emerged as a potential option for England in Qatar after recovering from a fitness concern earlier in the season to score six goals.

But in front of watching Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate at St Mary's on Sunday, Wilson was withdrawn at half-time.

The striker had shown no obvious sign of discomfort before the break, yet his injury history prompted worries of a setback that would stop him playing for his country. Dominic Calvert-Lewin was injured for Everton on Saturday.

However, Newcastle coach Eddie Howe confirmed there was no long-term issue behind Wilson's substitution, with the striker having revealed earlier in the week he was battling a cold.

"Callum wasn't that well in the week and felt light-headed and dizzy, so that's why he came off," Howe told Sky Sports.

"It was a joint decision. He didn't feel he had the energy needed and it was an easy decision to replace him with Chris [Wood], who came on and got the job done."

Kieran Trippier had gone down late in the first half for Newcastle. An injury to the right-back would have represented a major blow for Southgate, who may already be without Reece James and Kyle Walker.

But Trippier stayed on as Wilson was replaced by Chris Wood with Newcastle 1-0 up through Miguel Almiron's eighth goal of the season.

The Magpies number nine was scarcely missed, as Wood netted a rare goal for the second and Joe Willock grabbed the third. Newcastle have had a league-leading 12 different scorers this season.

After Romain Perraud replied for Southampton with a minute to play, Bruno Guimaraes completed the scoring in stoppage time.

It was the fourth time Newcastle have scored four or more in their past seven matches – as many as across their prior 226 top-flight outings – and took them above Tottenham into third ahead of Sunday's late kick-off between Spurs and Liverpool.

Do you want to head into the World Cup break top of your fantasy league? Well, you're running out of time!

This weekend will be the penultimate round of games before a Premier League hiatus for Qatar 2022, with real-life teams aiming to get themselves in as strong a position as possible ahead of the Boxing Day resumption.

On the fantasy football front, given how tricky and unpredictable everything is likely to be after the World Cup, this is arguably a vital couple of weeks.

That's where Stats Perform hopes to help. They have delved into the Opta numbers to identify four players who appear smart choices beyond your obvious picks such as Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne.

Danny Ward (Everton v Leicester City)

This might sound like a rogue choice given he conceded 22 goals in Leicester's first seven league games this term, but the Foxes have improved defensively of late.

That's highlighted by the fact Ward has kept clean sheets in four of his past six appearances in the Premier League, with no one matching that figure since the start of October.

In his first seven games, Ward let in 4.7 goals more than he should have according to Opta, but his goals prevented since stands at 1.0 – he's certainly turned his form around.

Kieran Trippier (Southampton v Newcastle United)

Obviously, the trick to picking defenders in fantasy football is choosing those who are likely to keep clean sheets and also able to offer a threat going forward – Trippier is marking himself out as the ideal candidate.

Since his first Newcastle game in the Premier League, he is one of just five defenders to reach five goal involvements and contribute to at least seven clean sheets. Trippier's also played the fewest minutes of those players.

Six of those clean sheets have been kept this season, with Newcastle's defensive solidity impressing pundits, while his 31 chances created is a Premier League-high for defenders, highlighting his attacking threat.

Leandro Trossard (Wolves v Brighton and Hove Albion)

It's been a peculiar season in general for Brighton, though Trossard's form has been one of few constants.

The Seagulls will hope that last weekend's battering of their former manager Graham Potter's Chelsea side will bring momentum, and that could see Trossard – arguably in the former of his Premier League career – become even livelier.

After all, only four players have more goals (seven) than the Belgian this term, with his record of a goal involvement every 126 minutes roughly twice as good as his previous best over a full campaign (one every 255 minutes).

Callum Wilson (Southampton v Newcastle United)

Eddie Howe has attracted a lot of praise for making Newcastle sound defensively, but they also continue to possess a potent attacking unit and Wilson is central to that.

Not only does he have eight goal involvements to his name this term (six scored, one assisted), Wilson's record of one goal every 117 minutes in the Premier League in 2022 (936 minutes) is his second-best return over a calendar year in the top flight after 2015, when he only played 543 minutes.

He travels to Southampton with huge confidence, having had a hand in three goals against Aston Villa last time out, the first time he's managed that in over two years.

Reece James has added to England's World Cup concerns after sustaining a knee injury during Chelsea's Champions League clash with Milan.

The full-back appeared to jar his knee as he competed with Theo Hernandez for the ball in the 56th minute of the showdown at San Siro.

Although he got to his feet and continued, James subsequently went down again while chasing Rafael Leao six minutes later and was replaced by Cesar Azpilicueta.

The 22-year-old is the latest England right-back to sustain an injury, with Kyle Walker recovering from groin surgery while Trent Alexander-Arnold was withdrawn at half-time during Liverpool's defeat by Arsenal on Sunday due to an ankle complaint.

It has long been a position of real strength for Gareth Southgate's side, but Kieran Trippier may be the last remaining fit option if James faces a period on the sidelines.

The Three Lions launch their World Cup campaign against Iran on November 21, while they also face the United States and Wales in Group B.

Bernardo Silva and Erling Haaland scored as Manchester City came from two goals down to salvage a 3-3 draw in Sunday's Premier League thriller with Newcastle United.

The reigning champions had started their latest title defence with back-to-back wins without conceding and took a fifth-minute lead at St James' Park through Ilkay Gundogan.

However, Miguel Almiron levelled up with a goal awarded after a VAR check and Callum Wilson had Newcastle – themselves still unbeaten – in front prior to half-time.

Kieran Trippier's stunning free-kick put Newcastle further ahead, but Haaland pulled one back and Silva equalised soon after to ensure the points were shared.

Newcastle had kept back-to-back clean sheets but were caught cold early on, with Gundogan left in plenty of space to control Silva's clipped pass and fire home.

Kevin De Bruyne was twice denied by Nick Pope, though Newcastle levelled up when Almiron met Saint-Maximin's cross with his thigh and bundled past Ederson.

After Almiron's celebrations were cut short by an offside flag, a VAR check determined Joao Cancelo had kept the Newcastle attacker onside and the goal was allowed to stand.

The hosts led by the interval through Wilson's well-taken strike past Ederson following more good work from Saint-Maximin.

Pope produced a fine fingertip stop to help Haaland's shot onto the post early in the second half, shortly before Trippier's sublime 30-yard free-kick found the top-left corner.

City gave themselves hope thanks to Haaland's volley after anticipating Rodri's knock-down inside the box.

After Haaland uncharacteristically missed a one-on-one chance, City were back on level terms when De Bruyne cut open Newcastle's defence and Silva calmly slotted past Pope.

That set up a tense final 25 minutes, in which Trippier was shown a red card for a cynical challenge on De Bruyne before the decision was downgraded to yellow, though there was to be no winning goal.

Newcastle United's owners are glad they were snubbed by Unai Emery as they now hope Eddie Howe can be "the next Alex Ferguson" at St James' Park.

Having sacked the unpopular Steve Bruce in October – one match after the club's takeover by a consortium backed by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund – Newcastle identified Emery and Howe as leading candidates for their head coaching role.

Emery was approached first, only to back out, leaving Howe to take charge of a struggling team threatened with relegation.

Gradually, Howe has turned the tide on Tyneside, with Newcastle entering Saturday's match at Brentford on an unbeaten run that spans six league matches and more than two months. They are the only top-flight team without a single defeat since Christmas Day.

In a wide-ranging interview with The Athletic, Newcastle director Mehrdad Ghodoussi said chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan wanted Howe "from day one".

And Al-Rumayyan's fellow board members are now convinced Howe was the right choice.

In the same interview with The Athletic, Amanda Staveley, Ghodoussi's wife and business partner, said: "It would have been wrong [to appoint Emery].

"We made the right decision with Eddie. He's come in, no airs or graces, no ego, and we're there to support him. I've really grown to care a great deal about him and his coaches.

"We talk to Eddie multiple times a day. I'm fascinated by what he does. He's so detailed, so hard working. You don't know when you're interviewing someone what they're going to be like but he's got huge integrity."

Howe is just 14 games into his Newcastle tenure, but Ghodoussi added: "I would love Eddie to be the next Alex Ferguson."

The Newcastle directors also discussed the January transfer window, claiming Sven Botman and Jesse Lingard each wanted to join the club. Botman could yet sign at the end of the season.

Kieran Trippier was one new arrival and had an instant impact, scoring two goals and being handed the captain's armband within four league appearances before sustaining a foot fracture.

Trippier has certainly impressed the Newcastle board, as Staveley said: "He's so professional, so fit. I've been so impressed.

"To be honest, Kieran isn't someone we'll ever sell. I've said to him, 'You're with us and that's it. You can be our Alan Shearer. You'll be a standard-bearer for Newcastle for many years to come'.

"If he can play, he will stay, and I believe you might find he'll still be playing in five years' time because he's capable of it. He's got something extraordinary."

Kieran Trippier considers Jan Oblak the best goalkeeper in the world and would love to see him in the Premier League – perhaps even at Newcastle United.

Oblak has long been regarded among the very best around in his position, although his form for Atletico Madrid has deteriorated this season.

Having won the LaLiga title alongside the 29-year-old in 2020-21, however, ex-Atletico defender Trippier still holds him in high regard.

"From my time playing with him, the amount of points he saved us and his shot-stopping, for me, he's the best in the world, for sure," Trippier told 5 Live, speaking ahead of Atletico's game against Manchester United on Wednesday.

Oblak joined Atletico from Benfica in 2014 and has remained in Madrid ever since, but Trippier added he was "really surprised" a Premier League club had not made a serious move for the keeper.

"I think he'd be unbelievable in the Premier League, but obviously it's who could he go to? That's the question," the Newcastle man said.

"I've had conversations with him before about the Premier League. He's always asked me questions. Of course, I'd love to see him in the Premier League one day."

Big-spending Newcastle were then put forward, with Trippier asked if he was acting as the club's LaLiga scout.

"You never know," he replied with a laugh. "You never know what could happen."

Atletico's 1-1 draw with United was their first Champions League match since Trippier's January departure, but the England international is keen to return to the competition with Newcastle.

"Right now, the most important thing is staying in the league. We need to focus about now," he said. "Of course, it's a process, it's about building season by season.

"Newcastle want to be playing Champions League football, but the most important thing for us is Saturday against Brentford and then building a game at a time and then see where we are at the end of the season.

"It's about building, it's a project. Of course I want to be playing Champions League football and hopefully I can be with Newcastle."

Kieran Trippier has no doubts about Joao Felix's quality after his "unbelievable" header for Atletico Madrid against Manchester United, but he suggested the forward still has work to do to meet Diego Simeone's exacting standards.

Joao Felix's superb diving header gave the Spanish champions the lead in their Champions League clash with the Red Devils, before substitute Anthony Elanga netted to leave the tie finely poised at 1-1 at the halfway point.

The opener represented Joao Felix's 24th goal for Atletico in all competitions but just his second headed goal for the club, with his only previous such effort coming against Cadiz back in November 2020.

Tripper, who left the Wanda Metropolitano for Newcastle United in January, was not surprised by his former team-mate's sublime goal, however.

"It was unbelievable. He can do so many things like that. He has the quality," Trippier told 5 Live.

"We need him to step up, we need him to be the difference. I was surprised they brought him off, because I think that changed the dynamic of the way Atletico Madrid were playing."

Eddie Howe is hopeful Kieran Trippier will play for Newcastle United again this season, but stated the right-back's injury is "significant".

Trippier was the first arrival under Howe and the new ownership at Newcastle last month, and has played a key role in helping the Magpies turn their form around.

Newcastle are out of the bottom three in the Premier League after three successive victories, beating Leeds United, Everton and Aston Villa respectively.

England international Trippier has scored in both of the last two matches, but he sustained a fracture in his left foot during the win over Villa.

Newcastle confirmed on Monday that the 31-year-old had fractured his fifth metatarsal bone, though no timescale was placed on his return.

Initial reports suggested that Trippier would need between eight and 10 weeks to fully recover.

On Friday, while previewing Newcastle's clash with West Ham, Howe confirmed Trippier's surgery had been a success.

"He had his operation yesterday and that went well, so that was good news," Howe told a news conference.

"We aim to have him back before the end of the season, but it's a significant injury which is a big blow for us."

Trippier's back-up, Javier Manquillo, suffered an ankle injury in the Villa match, and Howe confirmed the Spaniard would also be missing against West Ham on Saturday.

"Manquillo went off in the same game after landing awkwardly on his ankle following a header," Howe said. "We don't think that's serious, but he will miss the game. Apart from that, we're as we were."

A fellow new arrival in January was midfielder Bruno Guimaraes, though the Brazil international is yet to make his full debut for Newcastle, having instead had to settle for two substitute appearances.

"It's a really strong area, probably our strongest in terms of personnel," Howe said of Newcastle's midfield. "Every player would have an argument to say I deserve to start so long may that continue.

"Bruno will start a lot of games for us and will be a huge player. I don't think this period where he's watching and learning from the Premier League is a bad thing for him, although it will frustrate him because he wants to show his talent."

Due to gale-force winds hitting the United Kingdom from Storm Eunice, Newcastle will not be flying down to London, but instead they faced a seven-hour coach journey to the capital ahead of Saturday's early kick-off.

However, recent history is on their side. Newcastle have won their last two Premier League away games against West Ham, and have tasted victory on the road against the Hammers 10 times. They have not won more often on the road against any other side in the competition.

Newcastle United right-back Kieran Trippier is set for a spell on the sidelines after fracturing his foot.

Trippier was the first of five January arrivals in the first transfer window under the club's Saudi Arabia-backed ownership. Dan Burn, Matt Targett, Bruno Guimaraes and Chris Wood also signed for Eddie Howe's team.

The England international was forced off in the second half of the Magpies' 1-0 win over Aston Villa, having scored what turned out to be the winning goal from a free-kick in the 35th minute. 

It was Trippier's second Newcastle goal, after he netted in the 3-1 win over Everton on Tuesday. Howe's side have now won three Premier League matches in a row and are now fourth points clear of the bottom three.

Newcastle have since released a statement confirming that a scan conducted after full-time has revealed that Trippier has fractured a bone in his left foot.

However, no timescale has been placed on the 31-year-old's return.

"Trippier is set to be sidelined for the club's upcoming fixtures after fracturing a bone in his foot during Sunday's 1-0 victory over Aston Villa," the statement on Newcastle's official website read.

"The 31-year-old scored the game's only goal at St. James' Park to help the Magpies to a third successive Premier League win, but had to be substituted early in the second half after sustaining a foot injury.

"Trippier underwent an X-ray immediately after the game and scans have shown a fracture to the fifth metatarsal bone in his left foot.

"Everyone at the club wishes Kieran a speedy recovery."

 

Liverpool responded to Manchester City's thrashing of Norwich by recording a hard-fought 1-0 win at Burnley.

Fabinho struck the only goal in the first half, as the Reds continued their fine set-piece record on a day when set-plays proved decisive across the Premier League.

Elsewhere, Raul Jimenez starred as Wolves leapfrogged Tottenham with a shock 2-0 win, and Newcastle continued their revival with a 1-0 win over Aston Villa, thanks to Kieran Tripper's free-kick.

The final game of the day saw West Ham rescue a dramatic 2-2 draw at Leicester City, with Craig Dawson netting a stoppage-time equaliser.

Burnley 0-1 Liverpool: Reds reap rewards of set-piece focus

Liverpool did not produce a vintage performance, but Jurgen Klopp's men kept leaders Manchester City on their toes by earning a vital away win.

The Reds had to work hard for the three points against Burnley at Turf Moor. After managing 27 shots, nine attempts on target and 50 touches in Burnley's penalty area in the reverse fixture at Anfield last August, Liverpool had just over half as many touches in Burnley's 18-yard box this time (26), managing 12 shots in total and just four on target.

However, Klopp's men dug deep to find a winning goal, and did so courtesy of their fantastic set-piece record. Excluding penalties, 14 of Liverpool’s 61 Premier League goals this season have come via set-pieces, more than any other team and more than the tally they recorded in the top-flight last term (13).

Fabinho's winning goal also means he has scored more goals in his last seven matches (five) than he managed in his first 142 appearances for Liverpool in all competitions (four).

Meanwhile, the Anfield outfit also maintained their record of having won each of their games in which the Brazilian has netted for the club, with that run now reaching eight matches.

Tottenham 0-2 Wolves: Jimenez proves decisive at Spurs once again

It was Wolves, rather than Tottenham, who asserted their top-four credentials by recording a huge win in north London, with Jimenez and Leander Dendoncker firing the visitors to a 2-0 win.

Mexican striker Jimenez has now scored in each of his last three Premier League appearances away at Spurs (three goals), with Wolves winning each of those contests.

Indeed, Jimenez has now scored four times in six appearances against Tottenham, and has only scored more Premier League goals against Southampton and Everton (five).

For Antonio Conte's Spurs, the defeat was their third Premier League reverse in succession, and they also lost three consecutive league games under Nuno Espirito Santo in September 2021. This marks the first time they have had multiple three-match losing games in a Premier League campaign since 2004-05 (also two).

Newcastle 1-0 Aston Villa: Another free-kick continues Toon revival

Newcastle's clash with Aston Villa was not exactly one for the purists, featuring the third-lowest expected goals tally of the entire Premier League season so far, but Tripper ensured that it was a memorable day for the Magpies.

Trippier's 35th-minute free-kick was enough to see off Steven Gerrard's men in a contest where both teams created just 0.5 xG apiece.

Remarkably, Newcastle have now scored a direct free-kick goal in each of their last three Premier League games (Jonjo Shelvey at Leeds, followed by Trippier against Everton and Aston Villa), becoming the first side to do so since Liverpool in December 2013.

In a game of fine margins, the England right-back showed the quality that he brings to the Magpies' relegation fight, and he is now the first Newcastle player to score direct free-kick goals in consecutive Premier League games since Hugo Viana did so in May 2003.

Kieran Trippier has confirmed he attracted "strong interest" from Manchester United last year before returning to the Premier League with Newcastle United.

Trippier swapped a LaLiga title defence with Atletico Madrid for a relegation battle with Newcastle this month, with the England full-back joining Eddie Howe's side for a reported fee of £12million.

The 31-year-old spent two-and-a-half seasons at Atleti after leaving Tottenham in 2019, helping Diego Simeone's side clinch a LaLiga title last year.

There were reports since early in 2021 that Trippier wished to return to England, and United were heavily linked.

Trippier has now confirmed that United and Atleti held discussions before the 2021-22 season, after England's run to the final of Euro 2020, but the potential move broke down over the Spanish club's demand that his release clause, reported at around £50m (€60m), was met.

"After the Euros, there was really strong interest," Trippier told Newcastle great Alan Shearer in an interview with The Athletic.

"I've got to be careful what I say because I don't want to get into trouble, but yeah, there was interest. We had conversations, but Atletico Madrid just wanted my release clause and it was a lot of money for a 30-year-old, so I understand why Man United didn't do that.

"There were other clubs interested too. Anyway, it's gone now, so it doesn't bother me."

Trippier hopes Simeone, who has established himself as one of world football's leading coaches during his decade-long stint at Atleti, follows him from LaLiga to the Premier League.

"I'd love to see him working in England. I know he was learning English about a year ago, and his partner speaks English," Trippier said.

"The thing about Simeone is that because he's so passionate when he's talking in the dressing room, I think it would get to him if he wasn't completely fluent. But I would love to see him in the Premier League. I think everyone would."

 

Simeone's pragmatic approach has sometimes come in for criticism, but there can be no doubting its success.

"It's a bit unfair, because Simeone has been so successful. He's won eight trophies," Trippier added, before referring to a comment Jurgen Klopp made about Atleti not playing "proper football" after Liverpool's defeat to Los Colchoneros in the 2019-20 Champions League knockout stage.

"I understand where Klopp is coming from, but if you're playing at Anfield you can't go toe-to-toe with [Liverpool] because you'll get punished.

"Everybody has their own system or set-up and Simeone's is different. It's worked for him."

Trippier's decision to leave Tottenham came after Mauricio Pochettino's side had reached the 2019 Champions League final, losing to Liverpool - ironically, at Atleti's Wanda Metropolitano stadium.

The former Burnley defender enjoyed a fine 2018 World Cup, but felt his form dropped off slightly afterwards. However, he also hit out at Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, who he claims was engineering a sale while the season was ongoing.

"f you look back to the last few months of my Tottenham career, I admit that I wasn't at the levels that I was at the World Cup and there's no excuse," he said.

"After the Champions League final, it felt like the right time to move on.

"What annoyed me, I know 100 per cent for a fact – and this is what I was most angry about – that two months before the end of the season, Daniel was offering me to other clubs.

"I knew for certain that was happening, so I knew my time there must be up. I was playing for my team-mates and the supporters, but I also knew I wasn't wanted."

Newcastle United have completed the signing of Kieran Tripper from Atletico Madrid on a two-and-a-half-year deal.

The England international is the first arrival at St James' Park following the Saudi Arabian-backed takeover in October, joining for a fee reported to be in the region of £12million plus add-ons.

Tripper returns to the Premier League following a two-and-a-half-year stint with Atletico, having previously played for Tottenham and Burnley in the English top-flight.

The full-back will aim to bolster the Newcastle defence and help them climb out of the relegation zone, with the Magpies only winning one league game all season. They currently sit 19th, two points from safety.

The 31-year-old also links up with Eddie Howe for a second time, the pair having previously crossed paths at Turf Moor in 2012.

"I'm delighted to be joining this fantastic club. I really enjoyed my time in Madrid, but when I became aware of interest from Newcastle United, and having worked with Eddie Howe before, I knew this was where I wanted to be," Trippier told the club's official website.

"I'm aware there is a lot of work ahead of us but I know the demands of Premier League well and I know what an amazing club this is with very talented players. I can't wait to get started and I'm excited to step out at St. James' Park as a Newcastle player."

Trippier made 68 LaLiga appearances for Los Rojiblancos, helping Diego Simeone's side capture the domestic title last season.

The full-back contributed to the success with six assists; Jose Gaya (seven) the only defender to record more in the Spanish top-flight in 2020-21.

Trippier also registered 74 successful crosses during his time in LaLiga, with Jesus Navas (129) and Damian Suarez (84) the only defenders to better that tally.

Although he has failed to record any goals or assists across all competitions this season, there is no doubt in the quality and experience the England defender will bring to the Magpies' ranks.

Indeed, he played five of the Three Lions' seven matches as they reached the Euro 2020 final last year.

Howe said: "I am really pleased to welcome Kieran to Newcastle United. I have long admired his abilities and have followed his career, so when the opportunity arose to secure him, we didn't hesitate.

"A lot of hard work has gone into planning for the January transfer window long before the month began, which is clear in how quickly we have been able to complete this move."

Newcastle have also been linked with a move for another full-back, this time for the left flank, in the form of Everton defender Lucas Digne, who is out of favour with Rafael Benitez following a reported training-ground disagreement.

Digne, however, is reported to prefer a move elsewhere as it stands, with West Ham and Chelsea also said to be interested.

Diego Simeone is "grateful" for what Kieran Trippier has given to Atletico Madrid as the full-back closes in on a move to Newcastle United.

Trippier is reportedly undergoing a medical with Newcastle on Wednesday after an initial £12million (€14.36m) fee was agreed between the clubs.

The England international joined Atleti from Tottenham in July 2019 and has made 86 appearances for the Spanish side in all competitions.

Across his two and a half seasons in LaLiga, Trippier ranks joint-fourth for assists (10) and fourth for chances created (81) among defenders.

He played a key part in Atletico's title triumph last term and Simeone has wished the 31-year-old well at his next club.

"I always look at the positives," Simeone said at a news conference on Wednesday previewing Atletico's Copa del Rey round-of-32 tie with Rayo Majadahonda.

"I'm absolutely grateful for the time Kieran has been here with us. The club gave him 48 hours to resolve the situation. He's behaved very well and been very important for us."

 

Trippier started Sunday's 2-0 win over Rayo Vallecano, though Marcos Llorente has also been regularly used at right-back this campaign.

However, Simeone confirmed Atletico will look to bring in a replacement for Trippier.

"We look ahead to what is next, and seek out alternatives," he said. "The club knows exactly what we need and are after. 

"We are always in common agreement, but if not then we will continue with the players we have."

Dusan Vlahovic looms as a major topic in this January transfer window.

The 21-year-old Serbia international has scored 18 goals this season for Fiorentina.

Chelsea, Manchester City, Barcelona and Juventus have all been linked with Vlahovic, along with Arsenal and Tottenham.

TOP STORY - GUNNERS LODGE VLAHOVIC BID

Arsenal have lodged a €70million (£58.3m) bid for Fiorentina's Serbian forward Dusan Vlahovic,  according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

As part of the proposed deal, Uruguayan midfielder Lucas Torreira would join La Viola on a permanent deal.

Arsenal, who were seen as a long shot to secure Vlahovic's services, are keen to sign a new forward, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang falling out of favour.

 

ROUND-UP

- Arsenal are willing to listen to offers for outcast forward Aubameyang in January, claims Sky Sports. Aubameyang lost the Gunners' captaincy last month and has been dropped from the side. Newcastle United have been linked with the Gabon international.

- Goal reports that Aston Villa, Everton and Liverpool are all keen on bringing in Philippe Coutinho during the January transfer window as Barcelona shop him around. Coutinho is not keen on a return to Brazil and fancies playing in England again.

- Atletico Madrid full-back Kieran Trippier has agreed personal terms with Newcastle with a medical to complete before a deal is confirmed, reports Fabrizio Romano.

- Real Madrid have thrown in the towel in their pursuit of Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger due to his wage demands, claims Marca.

- Chelsea, Newcastle and West Ham are all circling for Everton's full-back Lucas Digne,  according to Sky Sports. Digne is valued at £30m.

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