NEWCASTLE UNITED are increasingly confident of being able to sign England international Kieran Trippier when the transfer window reopens next month.

The Magpies are set for a major January overhaul, with Eddie Howe having identified a number of key areas that require improvement, with his side currently sitting in the bottom three.

The full-back positions have been problematic all season, and Howe has been working with Newcastle’s recruitment team to line up a deal that would persuade Trippier to swap a La Liga title battle with Atletico Madrid for a relegation scrap with the Magpies.

Newcastle are ready to pay more than £30m for Trippier, even though he is about to enter the final 18 months of his current contract at the Wanda Metropolitano.

That should be sufficient to persuade Atletico to sell, with the England international having faced considerable competition from Marcos Llorente for his starting spot this season. Trippier was an unused substitute as Atletico lost 2-0 to city rivals Real Madrid on Sunday, and has not featured in the Atletico side since the start of November.

He will be keen to play regular first-team football in the second half of the season as he faces intense competition for a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for next winter’s World Cup. While he was a key member of the squad at this summer’s European Championships, starting at right wing-back in the final against Italy, he is battling with Reece James, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kyle Walker for a place on the plane to Qatar.

While Newcastle will almost certainly be involved in a relegation battle in the second half of the season, Trippier would nevertheless be back in the Premier League spotlight if he moved to St James’.

He will be offered a deal of around £150,000-a-week, which would comfortably make him the highest-paid player in Newcastle’s history, and will also be able to insert a clause into any agreed deal that would enable him to leave for a pre-arranged sum in the event of the Magpies being relegated at the end of the season.

Landing Trippier would be a major coup, and would represent a significant statement of intent from Newcastle’s new Saudi Arabian owners. In a similar vein, there is a determination to pursue a potential deal for Lille defender Sven Botman as vigorously as possible despite the obvious difficulties in persuading the Dutch centre-half to leave a side who have qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League in order to move to St James’ Park.

Newcastle have also been linked with a possible loan deal for Dele Alli, with Spurs having signalled their willingness to allow the England international to leave on a temporary basis in January.

The Magpies are ready to offer Alli an attempt to resurrect a career that has stalled badly in the last couple of years, but will push for the insertion of a clause into the loan deal that would enable them to sign the midfielder permanently in the summer provided they remain in the top-flight.

Paris St Germain held talks with Tottenham over a possible move for Alli in the summer, but the French giants will not be renewing their interest next month.

Meanwhile, with Newcastle’s search for a director of football still ongoing, Real Madrid are attempting to land Michael Edwards as their new sporting director.

Edwards, who has been touted for a senior role at St James’, will be leaving his current role as Liverpool’s sporting director at the end of the season.

The 42-year-old is an associate of Newcastle head coach Eddie Howe, but Real officials are reportedly confident he will agree to move to the Bernabeu ahead of the start of next season.