The dream £100m double transfer swoop Newcastle United can make if Bruno Guimaraes departs

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It would not be a popular sale - but there is some sense in Newcastle considering allowing one of their key players to depart.

There was an early warning of what could lie ahead for Newcastle United.

There were consistent mentions of the battle with Financial Fair Play and indications the Magpies would be wary of the punishments that could be placed upon them if they overspent in the aftermath of the Saudi-led takeover at St. James' Park in October 2021. Investment was desperately needed at all levels after former owner Mike Ashley left behind nothing more than a shell of a club.

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Just months after the takeover was completed, the January transfer window brought some relief as Eddie Howe’s squad was strengthened with the additions of Kieran Trippier, Dan Burn, Matt Targett and Chris Wood - but it was the Magpies most expensive signing during the first month of 2022 that went on to have the biggest impact in his side’s bid to avoid relegation from the Premier League.

Anthony Gordon (above) and Newcastle United favourite Bruno GuimaraesAnthony Gordon (above) and Newcastle United favourite Bruno Guimaraes
Anthony Gordon (above) and Newcastle United favourite Bruno Guimaraes

Starved of creativity and a cool head in midfield, the capture of Brazil international Bruno Guimaraes caught many by surprise after the Lyon star had been tipped to move to a club challenging for a place in the Champions League, rather than one battling to avoid the drop into the Championship. Five goal and one assist in 17 appearances only really tells half of the story when it comes to the impact Guimaraes had on Newcastle and that continued into his first full season on Tyneside as he played a lead role in helping the Magpies reach the Champions League for the first time in two decades and their first major cup final since 1999.

There have been regularly declarations of admiration for life on Tyneside and the supporters who have taken him to their hearts - but there remains a nagging feeling the clock is already ticking on Guimaraes at Newcastle. Even the agreement of a new deal earlier this season failed to quell talk of a move away from St. James' Park and the presence of a reported release clause will only attract further suitors.

Speaking in October 2022, Dan Ashworth injected a dose of realism into the situation facing Newcastle when he suggested spending £200m a season without bringing in serious money was ‘unsustainable’. There was a warning that a ‘top talent’ could be sold at some point - albeit with an admission Guimaraes was ‘an important part of the journey’.

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He told The Independent: “At some stage, you have to trade. One of the things around Financial Fair Play is you have to trade, we have to be able to generate some money to reinvest and go again. I can’t lie to you and say we’ll never have to sell a player, we’d always be able to hold on to our top talent. That doesn’t happen anywhere.

Liverpool sold (Sadio) Mane – you have to sometimes make a pragmatic decision to go, ‘Okay, we’ll do that because that’s a way of reinvesting in the football club. But as a rule of thumb, I would like to think we’ll be able to hold on to our top talent in order to drive our ambitions of driving up the league and competing for cups.”

Newcastle are, as it stands, much stronger as a club than the one the Saudi-led owners inherited from Mike Ashley just over two years ago - but they are still not strong enough to compete at the very top end of the Premier League table on a consistent basis. There is a feeling a new phase under the current owners is approaching and it is one that may not contain Guimaraes if the likes of Real Madrid, Liverpool or Paris Saint-Germain do follow up on their reported interest in the midfielder.

From a football point of view, selling your best midfielder initially makes little sense. But if Newcastle were to bring in £100m for Guimaraes, the impact on their financial fair play situation would be significant. As Ashworth said, there could be ways of reinvesting that money and strengthening across the board.

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The immediate focus would be on replacing Guimaraes and Newcastle are already said to be considering moves for the likes of Nice midfielder Kephren Thuram, Borussia Monchengladbach’s Manu Kone and Nottingham Forest star Morgan Gibbs-White. We should not forget the presence of Italy international Sandro Tonali within Eddie Howe’s ranks and the fact he will return from his nine-month ban at the start of next season. With £100m in the bank, Newcastle could add the energy and class on the ball of Gibbs-White and the versatility and strength of Thuram or Kone to a wealth of midfield options already including Tonali, Joelinton, Sean Longstaff, Joe Willock and the highly-rated Lewis Miley.

Nice midfielder Khephren Thuram.  (Photo by VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty Images)Nice midfielder Khephren Thuram.  (Photo by VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty Images)
Nice midfielder Khephren Thuram. (Photo by VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty Images)

It would be foolish to suggest losing Guimaraes - who has been worth each and every penny of the £40m fee paid to take him to Tyneside - would be anything other than a blow for Newcastle and supporters would be understandably desperately disappointed to lose a player that has been integral in their rise up the league.

But as it stands, with FFP continuing to hinder their plans to strengthen, there is a realistic prospect that Guimaraes could depart and he is one of the most attractive assets within the Magpies squad. It would not be a popular move, but with the need to trade and unlock the FFP chains, there is some positives that could come from an unpopular sale.

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