NEWCASTLE UNITED might be on the verge of completing a deal for Tino Livramento, but Eddie Howe does not expect Kieran Trippier to be ceding his position as the club’s first-choice right-back anytime soon.

Newcastle have agreed a deal with Southampton that will see them pay around £35m for Livramento, who is set to undergo a medical and complete the formalities of his move to Tyneside over the weekend.

The 20-year-old has spent most of his time with Chelsea and Southampton playing as a right-back, and while there is a chance he will be asked to spend some of his time with the Magpies on the opposite flank, he has been signed primarily to provide cover and competition for Trippier.

Newcastle’s on-field captain turns 33 next month, so a degree of succession planning is understandable, but Howe does not expect Trippier’s influence to start waning at any point in the foreseeable future.

“It is very much dependant on the individual how long they can go on for,” said the Magpies head coach. “I don’t think you should use age as a barrier because every player is different. They have a different history, injury record etc.

“Kieran, at the moment, looks in great form, he is really fit and still highly motivated. He had a good summer going away and playing for his country, stayed fit that way, so we are hoping for another great season for him. Physically, last year, he was excellent, playing near enough every game and from my perspective, never really looked fatigued. He is a huge player for us.”


As one of the few Newcastle players with experience of playing in the Champions League, Trippier’s leadership qualities could be especially important this season as the Magpies return to European football’s biggest stage.

“He (Trippier) is a leader of the group and sets the tone, and is an example of how to train and the attitude you need to deliver to be successful,” continued Howe. “Crucially, for us, he has the experience of big competitions and big games. He is going to be so important for us this year.”

Speaking at a press conference to preview this weekend’s Sela Cup, when Newcastle will play matches against Fiorentina and Villarreal, Howe was reluctant to say too much about the ongoing discussions over Livramento, although he did confirm his liking for the defender.

“I am slightly in the dark (about where the deal is at),” he said. “Let’s see what happens in the next couple of days, but certainly I like the player.”