Guimarães: The Target of Barcelona’s Ambitions
As per Duncan Castles from The Sunday Times, FC Barcelona, the freshly crowned La Liga champions are charting a comeback to the zenith of European football. To bring this ambition to fruition, they are setting their sights on securing Bruno Guimarães from Newcastle United. The Catalan giants are optimistic that an offer in the ballpark of €100 million (approximately £87 million) could sway Newcastle into parting with their Brazilian midfield star.
Bruno Guimarães: Integral to Newcastle’s Ascent
Guimarães, who moved from Lyon to Newcastle in January 2022 for an upfront fee of €42.1 million, has been instrumental in securing Newcastle’s spot in the Premier League, in addition to helping the club secure an impressive berth in the next season’s Champions League. The 25-year-old central midfielder’s stellar performances have been noticed by European football elites, including Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain.
Balancing Aspirations and Pragmatism at St James’ Park
Newcastle United would ideally want to keep Guimarães, and harbour hopes of enticing him to sign an enhanced deal as they gear up for their first Champions League campaign in 20 years. However, the club’s recruitment department has pragmatically started scouting potential replacements. A record-breaking transfer fee from selling Guimarães could facilitate squad restructuring, as manager Eddie Howe juggles ambitions with Premier League and UEFA Financial Fair Play rules.
Financial Picture of the Newcastle United
The 2021-22 financial year marked Newcastle’s first under Saudi Arabia-led ownership, during which they posted revenues of £180 million. Even with Champions League participation and new sponsorship agreements, projected turnover is anticipated to surge to around £350 million next season. This is still considerably less than the £613 million record revenues reported by Manchester City for 2021-22. Therefore, profits from player trading remain crucial for Newcastle’s aim of outperforming their Abu Dhabi-owned counterparts on the field.
As Howe stated, “We don’t have the ability to spend the money people will think we have, so we’re going to have to be very smart.”
Future of Bruno Guimarães
Guimarães’s transfer pact with Lyon had a clause entailing performance-related variables of €8 million, along with 20 per cent of any profit on his subsequent transfer. Barcelona might look to make a promise of signing him next year if they are unable to meet Newcastle’s asking price this summer, due to La Liga’s more stringent financial sustainability rules.
Reflecting on Newcastle’s recent Champions League qualification, Guimarães expressed his ambitions;
“I am ambitious. This is something I have been since I remember: to have ambition and challenge myself… We have to get used to being there… I think this is the ambition – fight for titles. The club deserves titles. Because of that, I am here.”