Newcastle boss Eddie Howe is hoping Kieran Trippier will pave the way for further key January signings after insisting he has not joined the club for the money.
The 31-year-old England defender became the first arrival of the club’s new Saudi-funded recruitment drive when he signed a two-and-a-half-year deal for an undisclosed fee, understood to be in the region of £12million plus add-ons, on Friday.
Trippier’s capture from LaLiga title holders Atletico Madrid by a club battling for its Premier League life may be eye-catching in many respects, but head coach Howe is hoping it will not be the last as he attempts to re-shape his squad for both short and long-term objectives.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup third round clash with League One Cambridge, he said: “It’s a sign that the club has a huge pull – and I’m not talking financial here.
“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.”
Newcastle’s new-found riches – Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund holds an 80 per cent stake in the Amanda Staveley-led consortium which bought out Mike Ashley in October last year – have seen the club linked with a bewildering list of potential targets in recent weeks.
Howe declined to comment on individual players, with Lille defender Sven Botman, Everton’s Lucas Digne, Burnley’s James Tarkowski and Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey among those to have been touted as possible signings, but admitted he remains hopeful of further additions.
Asked if he was confident, he replied: “Yes, I’d say at this moment I am. But we’re in the hands of clubs selling players, we’re in the hands of agents and players wanting to come.
“There are no guarantees. It might sound simple from the outside; it’s very, very different when you’re on the inside, so I’m confident, but there are no promises.”
Trippier’s arrival at St James’ Park – he could make his debut against Cambridge if the paperwork is completed in time – made a statement about the Magpies’ intent, and Howe, who first signed the 35-times-capped full-back during his time as Burnley manager, knows exactly what he is getting.
He said: “He’s got a winner’s mindset without a doubt. He’s a very positive person and he’s hugely motivated by the challenge ahead, so I didn’t have to do a massive selling job on the club or the position we’re in.”
The very real prospect of relegation may not help Newcastle as they attempt to bolster their squad over the remaining weeks of the winter transfer window – striker Callum Wilson is due to undergo a scan to determine the extent of his calf injury which could yet impact on their plans – although Howe indicated his distaste for escape clauses in contracts.
He said: “Offering relegation clauses is a sure-fire way to potentially bring players in who don’t have the correct motivation.
“I want players who are absolutely committed and have no way out, to say ‘I’ve got to make that work’, and that’s the only way we’re going to get success anyway.”