Barcelona will weigh up creative ways to sign their top transfer targets in the summer, with the La Liga champions reportedly ready to offer three players to Newcastle in an attempt to prize Bruno Guimaraes from the Premier League side.
Guimaraes recently penned a new long-term contract with the Magpies which reportedly contains a release clause in excess of €100 million, with teams such as Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Liverpool linked with a move for the Brazilian.
Barcelona have also been long-term admirers of Guimaraes and there had previously been speculation of a lower release clause specifically for them and Real Madrid, such is the 26-year-old’s reported desire to eventually move to Spain.
While the notion of a club-specific release clause has been played down, FootballTransfers exclusively revealed that Newcastle could be willing to negotiate a cheaper deal with Barcelona as the Catalans will likely struggle to meet Guimaraes’ buyout fee.
And reports in Spain have suggested that Barcelona could offer players in exchange for Guimaraes, with El Nacional naming Jules Kounde, Andreas Christensen and Raphinha as three stars who president Joan Laporta would use as bargaining chips with Newcastle to lower their demands.
Barca see Guimaraes as a ‘stellar addition’ and believe he could solve ‘many of the issues’ in Xavi’s team, with the asking price said to be the only stumbling block towards any transfer.
Newcastle could be forced to sell Guimaraes and stars
Guimaraes has established himself as an indispensable part of Eddie Howe’s team since joining Newcastle from Lyon in January 2022 for €42m, providing ten goals and nine assists in 69 Premier League games.
Newcastle have no desire to lose Guimaraes but the club’s CEO Darren Eales admitted this week that the club will likely have to cash in on star players in the future in order to continue their progression and adhere to financial fair play restrictions.
Guimaraes has always maintained his happiness in Newcastle, with his family settled and the player himself vocal over his affection for the city and club, as well as his desire to become a legend at St James’ Park.
However, Newcastle’s poor form in recent weeks has left them 11 points outside the top four and in serious danger of not qualifying for Europe at all next season, a factor which could accelerate Guimaraes’ departure due to the potential loss of income which would further strain the club’s spending potential.
While there has also been interest in the likes of Alexander Isak and Sven Botman, Guimaraes remains Newcastle’s most prized possession and the club will face a difficult task of keeping hold of their talisman in light of the release clause and the genuine desire to sign him from the likes of PSG and Barca.