Newcastle boss Eddie Howe has sent a no-nonsense message to Real Madrid regarding star midfielder Bruno Guimaraes.
The 24-year-old Brazil international has made a stunning impact in the Premier League since his £35million arrival in January at St James’ Park from Lyon but has been linked with a move to the Spanish capital in recent days if Casemiro headed to Manchester. United.
When asked if he could consider letting Guimaraes go, Magpies head coach Howe replied: “No, absolutely not.
“We are trying to build a team here that we believe can lead the club to success over the next few years, and we want to build this team and improve the squad, not take away our best players.”
Guimaraes was thrust into Newcastle’s Premier League survival battle last season as the club’s new owners spent big in the winter transfer window, and he has already established himself not only as a fan favorite on Tyneside, but a player more generally admired for his composure and ability on the ball.
Howe said: “It was an incredible deal, really, not just as a footballer you have to consider the person.
“The person is a brilliant lad who came here when the club was in a relegation battle – you have to remember that – with no conditions, no way out, no escape clause and wanted to fight to keep the club in the Premier League.
“I thought it showed real human qualities. He was all-in from day one and that is reflected in his performances here.
“Bruno has just started his journey with us. We desperately want him to grow with the team, we want him to make the team stronger and show his qualities even more. This is our goal.
Newcastle, who have invested in the region of £149 over the last two transfer windows and hope to add to that in the next fortnight, face a severe test of their progress when champions Manchester City arrive in the north on Sunday -is with Miguel Almiron in particular requiring no additional motivation.
The Paraguay international found himself included in a season-ending gybe aimed at City’s Riyad Mahrez by team-mate Jack Grealish, who he said had been substituted because he had “played like Almiron”.
When asked if the player or his teammates might seek revenge on the pitch, Howe said: “We have to play the game with a cool head. We must have fire in our hearts, but we must play with discipline. We cannot lose this.
Meanwhile, Amanda Staveley is set to retain a key role at St James’ Park despite the imminent arrival of new chief executive Darren Eales.
Eales is due to start work on Monday after being lured northeast by MLS side Atlanta United and will take over day-to-day management of the club, allowing Staveley, who led the Saudi-backed takeover l last year to change his focus after a hectic first 10 months on Tyneside.
The PA news agency understands that the advisory agreement reached between PCP Capital Partners of Staveley, who own a 10% stake in the club, remains in place and that the presence of Eales, in addition to that of the sporting director Dan Ashworth, will ease the significant first burden on the financier.