KIERAN TRIPPER has revealed just how close he was to a transfer to Manchester United… and why the move collapsed.
The right-back ultimately completed a switch to Newcastle in January and helped dig Eddie Howe’s side out of a relegation battle.
But he was also wanted at Old Trafford as the Red Devils chased a more attacking alternative to Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Some were taken by surprise when Trippier chose to leave behind Atletico Madrid, swerve United and join struggling Newcastle.
And Trippier, 31, admits he had been set to move to Manchester before family issues got in the way.
He told the Mirror: “Yes they (United) were interested. There were a couple of clubs.
“Me and the manager had a chat at the start of the season and agreed if an opportunity came up I might go.
“At the start of the season I had a couple of family problems. To be fair they didn’t want to come back [from Spain]. It didn’t happen, so I carried on.
“I am not one to throw my toys out of the pram when it didn’t happen.
“I wanted to come back to the north. So there is (Manchester) City and Liverpool. As a player you have to be realistic as well.
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“The Newcastle deal happened really quickly. The manager took over, who I knew well and it was a good decision. This place is a football city and people are obsessed with their club.”
Trippier’s arrival coincided with Newcastle’s uptick in form as Howe and the other new signings helped the club to safety.
After their Saudi takeover, the Magpies will have far grander ambitions than fighting relegation this season.
And they will be fuelled with even more talent joining the club, most notably England keeper Nick Pope and Dutch defender Sven Botman.