Diego Simeone appears to be resigned to a Kieran Trippier departure.
The England international is said to be keen to return to England having won La Liga last season and having enjoyed a successful spell in Spain following his 2019 arrival.
No deal has been struck just yet, but it seems as though Trippier could well be heading for an Atletico Madrid exit.
And should that come to pass, there will be few more disappointed than Simeone, who is a big fan of Trippier and what he adds to his Atletico starting XI as a dynamic full-back.
“He is an extraordinary footballer that has given us a lot,” Simeone said after his side’s win over Rayo Vallecano on Sunday. “But as I have said, it depends on him.
“We hope that Trippier can stay but I don’t know if you can’t hold anyone back in life.”
Trippier is under contract at Atletico Madrid until 2023, and given he is 31 years of age, Atleti are unlikely to stand in his way given they can bring in a significant fee for him this month.
Newly cash-rich Newcastle United will likely be able to pay a pretty penny, and it looks as though the decision will be Trippier’s.