The dream Newcastle United and Man City swap transfer deal that could work perfectly for both clubs

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Newcastle United could turn to their future Premier League title rivals with a deal that would benefit all parties.

"January isn't a great window for us to be doing business," is exactly what Newcastle United fans didn't want to hear this month but chief executive Darren Eales is not in place to placate supporters.

Newcastle have enjoyed the benefits of mega-rich owners since the Saudi-backed takeover in 2021 and their rise from relegation fodder to Champions League contenders has been admirable. Eddie Howe has done an outstanding job improving those already at St James' Park but it cannot be ignored that he's welcomed around £400million worth of talent to make that step up.

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But the trajectory of that expenditure has grown quicker than club revenue and despite seeing income rise £70m up to £250m in 2022-23, they lost £73.4m according to recently published accounts. Add that to the £70.7m loss in 2021-22 and Newcastle are in danger of breaching Financial Fair Play.

Love it or loathe it, FFP is here and it is real. Everton and Nottingham Forest have admitted to breaching it and face a potential points deduction - the Toffees have already been docked 10 points. Wolves flew very close to the sun and had to offload to avoid getting burned, losing manager Julen Lopetegui in the fallout.

There is an argument that FFP is protecting the bigger clubs from being breached by ambitious investment but for now, it is only an argument. And so this month looks set to be a quiet one at Newcastle and the effects of a cautious approach are already being felt.

The Magpies will be without both Sandro Tonali and Joelinton for the remainder of the season and yet they have been forced to pull out of a deal for long-term target Kalvin Phillips. They want him, City want rid of him and he wants the kind of regular football that would come at St James' Park but it's no longer such a simple equation.

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City are believed to want a £7m loan fee and a £40m option to buy, which would represent a slight profit on the £42m they spent to sign him from Leeds United in 2022. That is money Newcastle have but money they cannot spend.

Such is the concern that Eales, speaking earlier this month, could not rule out selling one of the club's big-money stars. “If we’re going to get to where we want to get to, at times it is necessary to trade your players," he said. “In the world of PSR, everybody has their price."

Selling 'crown jewels' such as Sven Botman and Alexander Isak would bring a healthy fee but if Newcastle want maximum cash then Bruno Guimaraes would be the man, as unpalatable as that may feel. Paris Saint-Germain have been linked this month but City were thought to be keen in the summer.

Pep Guardiola needed midfield reinforcements after seeing Kevin De Bruyne suffer a serious hamstring injury on the opening day of the season. It was Matheus Nunes in the end but Guimaraes was on the radar, as was Eberechi Eze.

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Their need for a midfielder will only intensify with Phillips set to leave and so perhaps there is an opportunity for Newcastle to get their man and bring in some much-needed money. If recent reports are to be believed then it will take at least £100m to sign Guimaraes but the offer of Phillips plus cash - say £60m - could see Newcastle post a healthy profit and secure a target they have wanted for some time.

The prospect is not one that will sit easy with supporters. Guimaraes was the marquee signing in the first window under Saudi ownership. For many, he represents the new Newcastle United and has been central to the success under Howe.

But in justifying the possibility of selling a star, Eales cited Liverpool's £142m sale of Phillipe Coutinho and the use of that money to sign Alisson and Virgil van Dijk - two players now cited as the turning point in which they became genuine title challengers. Perhaps it takes that realism to break into the upper echelons.

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