Five-goal Australia, Iraq advance in Asia World Cup qualifying

Five-goal Australia, Iraq advance in Asia World Cup qualifying
Five-goal Australia, Iraq advance in Asia World Cup qualifying

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - Bruno Guimaraes drops huge hint about Newcastle future amid Man City and Real Madrid interest


LONDON: Newcastle United star Bruno Guimaraes has dropped the biggest hint yet that he intends to remain with the Magpies next season.

The Brazilian, much loved on Tyneside, was one of the stars of the show at Wembley on Saturday, pulling the strings as the five-time World Champions beat England 1-0 in a friendly.

And while Newcastle fans might have been pleased by the quality of 26-year-old’s combative, controlling performance at the heart of Brazil’s midfield, they will have been delighted by his comments in the days that followed.

In the run-up to Brazil’s second friendly of the international break, against Spain on Tuesday, Guimaraes was asked by the media about his future in the North East of England, with speculation rife about what might happen during the summer transfer window.

It has been widely reported that the former Lyon man had a release clause inserted into his latest Newcastle contract, an extension signed toward the end of last year. However, it is thought it would not not apply to a move to all clubs, particularly others in England. That has not prevented the likes of Manchester City being linked with the player, along with Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Guimaraes insists, however, he plans to remain in the Premier League, and possibly at Newcastle, into next season and perhaps beyond.

“It’s always been my dream to play here,” he said. “I’ve always followed the Premier League. It was always my dream to be here.

“I think ever since I joined Newcastle, everything has been good in my life, professionally and personally. I’m very happy to be playing among the best, in the best league in the world. I absolutely plan to play here for a long time. I have other goals as well, of moving, but this is something more down the line. I’m really happy to be here in the league.”

Guimaraes has also been frank in his assessment of the Magpies’ struggles in the past few months, with the club exiting the Champions League at the group stage and then dropping out of both the FA Cup and Carabao Cup at the quarter-final stage.

That has coincided with a slide down the top-flight table, too, in which Newcastle currently occupy 10th spot. However, Guimaraes believes a top-eight finish, and likely European qualification, is not yet out of their grasp.

“I signed for the club and am happy for the club; we never know what is going to happen but for my part I am happy in the club,” he said.

“We are disappointed about the season but we still have a chance to finish at least seventh and finish in the Europa League or Conference League to put the club in Europe again.

“This is part of the process. When I signed for the club I knew this would happen. We made things happen too quickly. In my two years in the club we’ve got to a final, which unfortunately we did not win, and then we got into the Champions League after 20 years, which was massive for the club.

“This season we have been struggling because of injuries and suspensions. I’ve never been at a club with these types of injuries. Some injuries have been very strange. This season has been tough for us. To be honest I am a little bit disappointed. I knew this would happen.”

It has been suggested that a big name star might be sacrificed this coming summer so that Newcastle can free themselves from the Premier League Profit and Sustainability Rules logjam they find themselves in. They were unable to spend during the recent winter transfer window due to their spending over the previous three seasons, relative to their revenues.

That has led many to wonder whether Guimaraes, or perhaps star striker Alexander Isak, might be moved on to free up some room for spending.

“About the club staff, I cannot speak too much,” he said. “I don’t know what is going to happen in the future but I am so grateful for Newcastle and happy for the club.”

The Magpies will return to Premier League action on Saturday when European-qualification rivals West Ham United, who sit 4 points ahead of them in seventh spot, travel to St James’ Park.

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