Newcastle rocked as Barcelona ready £87m move for Eddie Howe’s best player; talks already underway

A third gigantic club in the form of Barcelona have entered the race to sign Newcastle midfielder, Bruno Guimaraes, and discussions over an £87m move are reportedly underway.

Newcastle were always destined to turn the Premier League’s ‘big six’ into a ‘big seven’ once Mike Ashley was bought out by the Saudi-backed PIF. However, few would’ve predicted Eddie Howe to get the job done quite so quickly.

Yet that’s exactly what the 45-year-old has done, with Newcastle securing Champions League qualification with a game to spare.

The Magpies also came close to ending their 68-year wait for a major trophy when coming up short in the League Cup final against Manchester United.

Newcastle are determined to double down on the success they’ve experienced this season, with a £110m triple raid on Man Utd, Arsenal and Leicester in their sights.

However, just as important as signing new stars is retaining the cream of the crop already at their disposal. On that front, none are more important to Newcastle than Bruno Guimaraes.

The Brazil international, 25, is Eddie Howe’s main man in the middle and has been everything Newcastle could’ve hoped for and more since arriving from Lyon.

However, his superb displays have not gone unnoticed, with Liverpool, PSG and Barcelona all tracking his progress.

Now, a fresh report from The Times has put the latter of that trio in the mix for a colossal €100m (approx. £87m) raid.

The Times state Barcelona ‘want to sign’ Guimaraes who has been earmarked as a perfect player to help re-establish their dominance in Europe.

Barca cruised to the LaLiga title this term, though were dumped out of the Champions League in the group stage. The Catalan giant haven’t won the UCL since 2015 and have seen bitter rivals Real Madrid lift the trophy four times since their last success.

Precisely how the cash-strapped Barcelona would fund such a hefty outlay for Guimaraes is anyone’s guess. Clearly, more economic levers would have to be pulled or a slew of major names would have to be axed.

In any case, the Times are adamant Barcelona are eyeing Guimaraes, though they’re not the only ones.

Indeed, reports out of Spain a fortnight ago (as cited by Goal) revealed PSG have entered into discussions with Guimaraes’ camp.

PSG harbour regrets over hesitating when they had the chance to sign Guimaraes back in 2022. PSG admired the Brazilian who was playing for Lyon at the time, though their reluctance to act left the door ajar for Newcastle who gladly strode straight through.

PSG’s interest has not gone away and the French giant hope to complete their unfinished business. The same €100m price tag was cited in the report.

Both articles noted Newcastle will be reluctant in the extreme to sell Guimaraes. What’s more, TEAMtalk understands the midfield maestro is happy and settled in the north east of England.

Speaking to TEAMtalk back in March, transfer insider Graeme Bailey told us Guimaraes looks set to remain on Tyneside for the long haul. Furthermore, a new contract that would make Guimaraes the top earner at Newcastle is in the works.

“Newcastle are pushing hard to agree terms with Bruno Guimaraes in the coming months,” said Bailey.

“He has been with the club for just over 12 month [at the time]. But few players in recent years have made a bigger impact in the Premier League than him.

“Guimaraes’ form has been brilliant and Newcastle’s hierarchy realise that and they want to reward him. Their pay structure is solid and that will remain. But somebody has to be at the top of it and that will be Bruno in the near future.”

Bailey went on to add: “The player is very happy in Newcastle.

“He’s started a family, and he and the club are on the same page when it comes to his future.”

While interest in Guimaraes is clearly growing, Newcastle are well placed to hold on to their finest assets.