Kieran Trippier will become the first signing of the new Saudi Arabian era at Newcastle United in an excellent start to their transfer window.
As revealed by Telegraph Sport, Newcastle were convinced they would be able to sign the England international from Atlético Madrid this week and despite slower than expected progress, a deal with the Spanish club was finally agreed on Tuesday evening.
The size of the fee has been the source of some confusion and although Newcastle have claimed the cost is just £12 million that figure will rise in the summer when add-ons obligations are met.
One of these is an extra payment if Newcastle avoid relegation – money the club’s hierarchy will be more than happy to pay given the devastating impact relegation would have.
Trippier will earn around £130,000-a-week and although his arrival cannot be considered a showbiz signing, it is a statement of intent by the new owners and evidence they have listened to wishes of manager Eddie Howe who wanted to add quality as well as experience to his defence.
Newcastle have not signed an established England international since Michael Owen arrived for £15m in August 2005 and Trippier’s willingness to leave La Liga for a relegation battle in the North East of England is likely to help the club land some of their other targets.
The 31-year-old is likely to be the first of six new faces to arrive for Howe with a left-back, two centre-backs, a central midfield player and a striker also wanted.
A senior source told Telegraph Sport: “We are taking it one transfer at a time. The market is a difficult one for us, clubs are quoting a lot of money for the players we want and some are simply not for sale, but we are working through things and more will follow after Tripper.
“We are close on a few things, but this is football and you never know what is going to happen until they are actually signed.”
One of the next targets will be Everton full-back Lucas Digne. The Frenchman has fallen out with Everton manager Rafael Benítez and Newcastle are hoping that deal could progress quickly.
Newcastle are also considering a bid for Diego Carlos, the Sevilla centre-back, as they look at alternatives to Sven Botman.
Botman had been first choice, although Lille are reluctant to sell and informed the Magpies he was not for sale earlier this week.