Newcastle United have been backed to bring in a former Bruno Guimaraes team-mate in a club-record transfer this summer.
Guimaraes spent two years at Lyon, where he made 71 appearances in all competitions. The central midfielder left in January when Newcastle came calling.
Despite Lyon’s hopes of keeping Guimaraes, they simply could not turn down Newcastle’s bid. They paid an initial fee of around £33million for the star, while add-ons could take the deal up to £40m.
This would see Newcastle match the £40m they paid for Guimaraes’ compatriot Joelinton in summer 2019.
Guimaraes has been a big hit at St James’ Park, winning fans over with his all-action style and dominant midfield displays.
The 24-year-old has played a full 90 minutes in all three of Newcastle’s Premier League matches so far. This shows just how much manager Eddie Howe rates him, as well as how important he has become for the side.
Howe wants to add to his attacking options before the transfer window closes. This is why the Tyneside club have pursued the likes of Moussa Diaby, Alexander Isak and more recently Joao Pedro.
According to journalist Luke Edwards, Newcastle are confident Pedro will end up signing for them this month. That’s despite them and Watford still being apart in their valuations of the 20-year-old.
Lucas Paqueta remains a target for Newcastle
And Pedro isn’t the only forward who could join Howe’s squad. French outlet Foot Mercato claim Lyon ace Lucas Paqueta is still on Newcastle’s radar, even though those rumours have cooled down in recent weeks.
The source reveals Newcastle are ready to put a bid worth between £38m and £42.2m (€45m-€50m) on the table for Paqueta – who tends to operate as a central attacking midfielder – and Lyon are braced for the offer.
A transfer at £42.2m would see Paqueta become Newcastle’s biggest ever signing, eclipsing the moves of Guimaraes and Joelinton.
Magpies officials hope Guimaraes will help them agree a deal for Paqueta. The players are close friends from their successful time at Lyon together.
Guimaraes will be able to tell his compatriot how good it is to play for Newcastle and how welcoming the fans have been to him.
Lyon would normally have an advantage over Newcastle due to them playing in European competition, such as the Champions League. But the French outfit finished eighth in Ligue 1 last term, which means they cannot use the UCL as a means to keep Paqueta.
And Foot Mercato state the player is still disappointed about Lyon’s fortunes. While they have begun the new campaign well, he doesn’t want to renew his contract there.
Newcastle could use the player’s stance to their advantage. Though there will be little negotiation over his fee as Paqueta still has three years left to run on his Lyon deal.