Reports in Spain suggest that Manchester United have suffered a serious blow in their pursuit of Atletico Madrid right-back Kieran Trippier.
United have been strongly linked with a move for Trippier since January and were expected to raid the Spanish
champions over the summer.
It was even suggested, as reported here only this morning, that the effects of the global pandemic on Atletico’s finances could mean that the England regular could be available for a bargain fee of under £10m and that talks had been opened between the two clubs.
The right-back is widely viewed as an ideal backup for current United right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Trippier would add a more attacking dimension to the current United side and it was hoped that his arrival would have a similar effect on Wan Bissaka as Alexis Telles’ signing has with Luke Shaw.
However, it’s now being reported that Atletico coach Diego Simeone considers Trippier “essential” and that any offers will be rebuffed.
Although born in Greater Manchester and in contrast to this morning’s reports, AS claims that Tripper is happy with life in the Spanish capital and is unwilling to discuss a return to England.
Following the recent revelation that he has activated an appearance-based extension to his contract, AS say that any serious interest would be dismissed by Atletico, who now appear have the upper hand in talks.
Further reports have indicated that United have already lined up their Plan B, in the shape of Lille’s Zeki Celik.
The Turkish international has impressed this season, helping his side to the Ligue 1 title with three goals and two assists.
United could face domestic competition for Celik’s services with both Arsenal and Tottenham interested.
However, with United the sole English side capable of offering Champions League football, the Red Devils would appear to have a major advantage ahead of talks with the player’s representatives.