Newcastle face huge Bruno Guimaraes worry as chiefs ‘identifying replacements’

Chelsea caretaker manager Frank Lampard previews the Newcastle game

Newcastle United midfielder Bruno Guimaraes has reportedly attracted serious transfer interest from Barcelona ahead of the summer window. Concerningly for Magpies fans, their recruitment team are already believed to have started sounding out replacements for the Brazilian midfielder.

Guimaraes was one of the first major signings in Newcastle’s Saudi-led ownership era, arriving in a £40million move from Lyon last January. Taking to Premier League life immediately, the 25-year-old is now one of the focal points in Eddie Howe’s high-flying team.

A return to the Champions League for the first time since 2002/03 is set to make Newcastle’s job that much easier when it comes to keeping hold of their top talent and bolstering their squad during the forthcoming transfer window.

But interest from Barca has historically proven tricky for players to pass up on, and The Times claim that the La Liga giants view Guimaraes as a potential catalyst in their quest to become a European heavyweight once again.

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Naturally, that will come as a huge worry for Newcastle fans, who have warmed to the Brazil international during his season-and-a-half on Tyneside. Barca reportedly believe that they can persuade both parties with a bid of £87m.

Such an offer would give the Magpies a monster profit on the fee they shelled out to Lyon, while it would also allow Howe to continue building his squad within the constraints of Financial Fair Play.

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Even with a bid of that size, Newcastle would reportedly prefer to keep hold of Guimaraes. But with Barca threatening to come knocking, sporting director Dan Ashworth and the rest of the recruitment department at St James’ Park are busy ‘identifying replacements’.

Guimaraes has scored four goals and provided five assists in the Premier League this season, playing a significant role in Newcastle’s sublime campaign, which has left them with a shot of pipping Manchester United to third place on the final day.

Only time will tell whether Barca can free up the funds to launch a concrete bid for Guimaraes, with senior figures at the Nou Camp still scrambling to meet La Liga’s financial regulations. An inability to complete the move this summer could spark an agreement to sit tight until 2024.

That would give Guimaraes the chance to complete a season in the Champions League with Newcastle, who he claims need to ‘get used to finishing in the top four’. “Like in the Carabao Cup final, we have to get used to going there,” he added. “I think this is the ambition – fight for titles. The club deserves titles.”

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