‘I almost joined Man Utd but my family said no – now I’m one of world’s best’

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Kieran Trippier will be one of Newcastle United’s primary threats against Manchester United in their Premier League clash tonight. However, he would likely be starting for the visitors at St James’ Park if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer got his way in the summer of 2021.

United reportedly planned to bring Trippier back to the Premier League from Atletico Madrid in January of that year before he received a 10-week ban for breaching betting rules.

And Solskjaer reignited interest months later as he searched for competition for Aaron Wan-Bissaka due to the £50million star’s attacking deficiencies.

However, a move didn’t come to fruition, and Solskjaer stuck with Diogo Dalot once he returned from a season-long loan at AC Milan in the same summer.

Trippier was understood to be keen on an Old Trafford switch, fuelled by his desire to return to the north of England.

He left Atletico for Newcastle in a £12m deal in January 2022, one of the club’s first transfers after being bought by the state of Saudi Arabia.

It’s proven to be a coup, with Trippier thriving as one of Europe’s best right-backs in recent seasons, while United continue to struggle for consistency in the position.

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In July 2022, Trippier revealed that he was in talks with United, among other clubs, after helping Atletico lift the La Liga title.

But family issues ultimately prevented a move, with some close to the 33-year-old reluctant to leave Madrid just two years after he arrived from Tottenham Hotspur.

“Me and the manager [Simeone] had a chat at the start of the season and agreed if an opportunity came up I might go,” he told the Mirror.

“At the start of the season, I had a couple of family problems. To be fair, they didn’t want to come back. 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.

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“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.

“The Newcastle deal happened really quickly. The manager [Howe] 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.”

Ten Hag is yet to settle on a first-choice right-back, with Dalot and Wan-Bissaka alternating throughout the first 18 months of his tenure.

And Trippier has ultimately become one of several top-class players to have narrowly evaded the Red Devils in recent years.

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