Why are Newcastle United so desperate to sign Lyon midfielder Bruno Guimaraes?

Magpies look set to land 24-year-old after lengthy pursuit but what attributes will he bring to Eddie Howe’s Premier League strugglers?

Newcastle United have reportedly agreed a fee of around £33.5million with Ligue 1 club Lyon for their 24-year-old midfielder Bruno Guimaraes.

The Magpies have been linked with more than 100 names in the transfer window but had little success until now. However, they seem to have beaten off interest from Arsenal to sign the Brazil international.

Planet Sport takes a look at Guimaraes' background, his career to date and what he will bring to Newcastle ahead of an exciting new era on Tyneside.

Bruno Guimaraes' background

Guimaraes was born in Sao Paulo in 1997 and was on the books of Brazilian side Audax where he made his professional debut aged 17. His form there earned him a move to Club Athletico Paranaense, initially on loan before signing a permanent contract.

The defensive midfielder gained quite a reputation at Athletico and in his two years at the club, was watched by some of the biggest sides in Europe.

While at the Rubro-Negro he won the Campeonato Paranaense (top league in the region) and the Copa Sudamericana (equivalent of UEFA's Europa League).

Athletico ended the 2019 season in fifth place - their best finish in ten years - with Guimaraes named in the Brazilian Serie A Team of the Year. He and Paranaense goalkeeper Santos were the only two non Flamengo players in the line-up.

Bruno Guimaraes' style of play

Bruno Guimaraes arms Lyon Jan22

Guimaraes is a right-footed commanding defensive midfielder, but don't let the word defensive deceive you. Just as capable in the no. 8 role, he is a natural on the ball with passing and dribbling skills to match.

Regularly incorporating one-touch flicks and roulettes into his game, he is adept at holding on to possession in tight spaces and is often the player orchestrating attacks from just in front of the back line.

His weaknesses lie in his aerial ability, despite his 6ft frame, and his direct goal contributions, although neither are essential for a deep-lying player like Guimaraes.

Positionally he should be versatile enough to adapt to the Premier League, sitting in the number 6 role or further forward as an 8.

Formation-wise, the Brazilian has shown his versatility too. In the first 16 games of Ligue 1, Lyon manager Peter Bosz opted for a 4-2-3-1 formation with Guimaraes one of two defensive midfielders. However, more recently Bosz has used a 3-4-2-1, with Guimaraes playing slightly further forward in a flat midfield four.

Newcastle have employed a range of formations this season, but under Eddie Howe look to have settled for a 4-4-2 or a more attacking 4-3-3. Guimaraes would comfortably be able to play as the sole defensive midfielder or as one of the two central midfielders for the Toon Army.

Moving to Europe

Benfica, Atletico Madrid and Arsenal were among the clubs interested in the midfielder after his impressive 2019 season in his homeland, but Guimaraes opted to sign for French side Lyon in January 2020.

He made the move for a fee of €25 million, with his old club Athletico getting a 20% sell-on clause (£6.7 million if he signs for Newcastle for the reported fee). Fellow Brazilian Juninho was thought to be key in engineering the move.

He has gone on to play over 70 times for Lyon and became a regular in the 2020/21 season. He has not missed a game since the opening matchday, starting 19 of a possible 20 games.

Guimaraes is a full Brazil international, earning his first cap in November 2020 and played for his nation in the 2020 Summer Olympics, coming away with a gold medal.

Bruno Guimaraes Olympic medal Brazil Aug21

Five facts about Bruno Guimaraes

The 24-year old also holds Spanish citizenship and could have represented Spain instead of Brazil.

His lucky number is 39, and more specifically his family's lucky number. He has worn the number 39 at all his clubs to date.

He has always dreamed of playing in England, saying: "I have always said to my agents that I dream of playing in England, it is the best league in the world, all the matches are close."

While at Athletico, he played three matches at centre-back, one of which was won 5-1.

He scored his first professional goal in March 2018 during a 7-1 thrashing of Rio Branco-PR.

READ MORE: An A-Z of 117 players Newcastle United have been linked with since their takeover

Latest news