The Magpies parted with a reported €42 million to secure his services amid interest from other Premier League clubs. Other teams had been reluctant to part with such a fee for the Brazilian maestro but there was no hesitation from those at Newcastle. They were rewarded for their faith in the former Lyon man too.
He played a significant part in their top-four finish last season and after signing a new long-term deal with the North East club, he’s set to bank them £100m (€117m) if he does leave the club in the near future. In an ideal world, the Toon Army would keep their No.39 and build the team around him.
However, according to reports, Newcastle need to sell due to Financial Fair Play fears. There is now doubt over the futures of Guimaraes and Alexander Isak. FootballTransfers exclusively revealed at the beginning of January that Arsenal have reignited their interest in the latter. However, it might be easier to pry the 26-year-old midfielder away from St James’ Park though due to his release clause.
Guimaraes’ strange release clause
Per multiple outlets, the Brazil international has a fairly unique release clause. It is claimed by AS that the clause, unlike many others, can be paid in three equal instalments of roughly £33m. Such a structure allows more clubs to get involved in a deal for the tempo-setter with payments being much more feasible for most clubs trying to abide by FFP rules.
If reports are to be believed, Paris Saint-Germain, Liverpool and Manchester City are all keen on the 18-cap international. In fact, Liverpool and Man City have had Guimaraes on their radar for quite some time now.
Sky Sports journalist Melissa Reddy revealed the former Lyon man was a target for Liverpool prior to his move to St James’ Park and made the bold claim in August 2022 that the midfield director would be a dream signing for the Reds.
Speaking to the Anfield Wrap, Reddy’s reply when asked about midfield targets for Liverpool was: “If there was a blank canvas, if availability wasn’t an issue…it would be Bruno Guimarães. Somebody at City said similar, they can’t believe Newcastle got that deal.”
Since then, Jurgen Klopp has overhauled his midfield, signing Dominik Szoboszlai, Alexis Mac Allister, Ryan Gravenberch and Wataru Endo. The focus for the Merseyside club over the next few transfer windows will primarily be the defensive unit. However, with Thiago set to leave the club at the end of the current campaign, there could well be a void to fill at Anfield and Guimaraes certainly has the skill set to fill it.
Similarly, the 2022/23 treble winners are in the market for a midfielder. Pep Guardiola doesn’t entirely trust Kalvin Phillips. When Rodri isn’t available, the reigning champions aren’t anywhere near as convincing. If they are somehow able to sell Phillips and bring in Guimaraes, that would be a fairly dramatic upgrade. Especially when you consider the 6ft midfielder can play alongside Rodri as well as in place of him.
With his arrival at the Eithad, City would level up. It is difficult to imagine how they would do that, isn’t it? Yet they would. Over the past 12 months, Guimaraes has been pulling the strings for the Magpies and he’s readymade for a move to one of the big clubs in Europe. The type of team who dominate possession.
The Brazilian maestro has averaged 60 passes per 90 for the Magpies and has a success rate of 84%. He’s racked up an Expected Assists average of 0.12 and he’s involved in 3.43 shot-creating actions on a per 90 basis. He’s extremely press-resistant and progressive, averaging over seven progressive passes per 90, per FBRef.
Defensively, he puts in a shift too and he’s very dogged in his approach. He’s perhaps the best plug-and-play option on the midfield market right now given he’s performing to a high level in the Premier League. It is a steep fee, but he’s well worth it.