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Kieran Trippier admits that Diego Simeone did not want him to join Newcastle

If Diego Simeone had gotten his wish, Kieran Trippier would not have joined Newcastle United in January.

The 32-year-old was the first player to sign for the Magpies after the change of ownership, agreeing a £12m move to St James’ Park earlier in the year.

He was a real coup at the time, and has proven to be one of the best signings Newcastle have ever made. Trippier has been huge in black and white, and has admitted that he is now playing the best football of his career.

That’s a big statement given the high level he’s played at, even in recent years when he was in Spain. Trippier spent two and a half years with Atlético Madrid, where he won La Liga and became a firm favorite of manager Simeone.

But the right-back decided it was time to return to England, prompting him to move to Newcastle in January 2022.

Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

However, he could have stayed at Atlético. And that is exactly what Simeone wanted him to do.

What Simeone told Trippier just before signing for Newcastle

Speaking on the Under The Cosh podcast, Trippier opened up about his departure from Atlético Madrid and shared a conversation he had with Simeone moments before he left.

“Yeah, even the day I said goodbye to the guys and stuff, he tried to have another conversation with me in the parking lot,” Trippier said.

“He basically said he didn’t want me to leave. He understands my motives, but he doesn’t want me to leave.

“It was really nice to hear from him, how much he wanted it to keep coming from someone like him.

“Even then I was having moments, even on the way to the airport, but I had decided I had to go back to England.”

Atlético’s loss has been Newcastle’s gain

Given how well he has played, it is not surprising that Simeone wanted to keep Trippier. He is the ultimate professional, and also a very good footballer.

But Trippier’s desire to return to England took precedent and allowed Newcastle to complete one of the best deals in their history.

The impact it has had on St James’ Park has been seismic. You’re not here for a payday to end your career. You are here to raise the bar and make a difference.

Trippier certainly has, and the Toon Army absolutely loves him. And it must be an absolute dream to play. We have seen Ryan Fraser and Miguel Almiron stand out on the right with him playing behind.

Simeone did his best to keep Trippier in Spain, but he was determined, and now Newcastle are reaping the benefits of that decision.

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