Newcastle are bracing themselves to lose their star midfielder this summer and, while the attention may be on Bruno Guimaraes, it is perhaps another Brazilian who could be facing an uncertain future.
The Magpies are dealing with the consequences of having spent more than €400 million since their Saudi Arabian takeover in 2021, with CEO Darren Eales recently admitting that star players such as Guimaraes, Alexander Isak and Sven Botman could be sold to appease the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability rules.
Guimaraes appears to be the most likely candidate to leave St James’ Park for big money, having recently signed a new contract containing a release clause of more than €100m, with Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona and a host of Premier League sides interested.
However, a name that has so far gone under the radar is that of Joelinton but the combative midfielder is in the final 18 months of his contract with no sign of a renewal yet despite a number of teammates extending their deals in recent months.
While the 27-year-old is a cult hero on Tyneside and has shown no desire to leave Newcastle, Joelinton’s future will certainly come into question if he enters the summer without having signed a new deal and teams will undoubtedly be put on alert towards his situation.
Having suffered a season-ending injury earlier this month, Joelinton may find himself the odd man out and a casualty of the financial fair play crisis plaguing the club, who could see the Brazil international as a sellable asset more than a building block for the future.
Why the departure of Joelinton may be inevitable for Newcastle
Joelinton’s career has seen a complete reversal under Eddie Howe, having been dubbed as one of the worst signings in Premier League history during his first few seasons as a passive and unconvincing forward signed for €44m in 2019.
Having moved to midfield under Howe, Joelinton has proven to be one of the league’s most physical, tough-tackling and hard-working players while also contributing with goals from the left flank and late runs into the box.
But Newcastle’s lack of a true ‘number 6’ has been exposed in recent weeks, with the team suffering eight losses in ten games and desperately pushing for a transfer for Kalvin Phillips, particularly on the back of Joelinton’s recent long-term setback.
Signing a natural holding midfielder would allow Guimaraes an opportunity to play his preferred advanced role in tandem with Sandro Tonali, the forgotten €64m who will return from his ban for betting offences in August.
Another addition in midfield would leave the Magpies with eight players for three spots, meaning something will have to give way, and while Guimaraes could also leave in the summer, the 26-year-old has remained fiercely loyal to Newcastle and could easily choose to stay another season.
With homegrown talents such as Lewis Miley, Elliot Anderson and Sean Longstaff needed for registration rules and Joe Willock offering a unique energy to Newcastle’s midfield (when fit), Joelinton’s role suddenly could come into question and an offer in excess of €50m would perhaps be too tempting to turn down.
Although his sale would be hugely unpopular amongst fans, Eales spoke of Newcastle needing their ‘Jack Grealish’ deal and, while that may prove to be Guimaraes, Joelinton’s future cannot be taken for granted while doubts over his contract and the financials remain.