LONDON (AFP) – Kieran Trippier became Newcastle’s first signing under the club’s new Saudi-led ownership on Friday, with manager Eddie Howe saying he hoped his arrival would pave the way for further additions to his relegation-threatened squad.
The 31-year-old full-back has returned to the Premier League from Atletico Madrid for an undisclosed fee, understood to be in the region of GBP12 million plus add-ons.
The former Tottenham defender has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract and his arrival signals the launch of a new era under Howe, who was appointed as manager at St James’ Park in November.
“It’s a sign that the club has a huge pull – and I’m not talking financial here,” Howe said.
“Kieran hasn’t come for the financial benefits of the contract. He’s come for the club and for the challenge that the team faces at the current time, but also the longer-term vision, so I think that’s a massive thing for the football club.
“Hopefully with his signing, other players around the world will potentially look at that and share his dream and his vision for what he sees. That’s a big thing for us.”
Trippier, who was signed by Howe in 2012 when he was in charge at Burnley, won La Liga with Atletico last season but is relishing his return to England.
“I’m so happy to be joining Newcastle,” he tweeted. “Everyone knows the fans are unbelievably passionate and I will give my absolute all for them. I can’t wait to get to work.”
The defender, capped 35 times by England, could make his debut against League One side Cambridge if the paperwork is completed in time.