Bruno Guimaraes: I joined Newcastle to help them win Champions League

Brazilian midfielder impressed by ambitious plans outlined to him by club's Saudi-backed owners before his move from French club Lyon

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Brazil midfielder Bruno Guimaraes has said that he joined Newcastle United to help the club achieve its goal of winning the Champions League.

The Premier League side forked out £35 million ($47.3m) to sign the 24-year-old from Lyon in January as the Magpies look to avoid dropping out of the top-flight.

Newcastle are currently second bottom of the table but, thanks to the backing of the club's ambitious new owners, were able to bring in five new signings in the transfer window — Kieran Trippier, Chris Wood, Dan Burn, Matty Targett and Guimaraes.

And Guimaraes, who was also on the radar of Newcastle's Premier League rivals Arsenal and Serie A giants Juventus, was impressed with the vision of the club that was sold to him by Amanda Staveley’s Saudi-backed consortium.

“We are definitely going to be a club that is going to be a big power in world football,” Guimaraes said at his unveiling on Monday.

“This is a historic club with a great tradition and a beautiful history, I have no doubts about my decision to come to Newcastle.

“[The owners] were very up front and honest about it. They didn’t disguise that the main objective and challenge was remaining in the Premier League this season.

“But in the seasons coming, the objective is to be in the Champions League and eventually to win the Champions League.

“I believe in the project, I believe in everything they spoke to me about and I am really happy to be a part of this project.”

Newcastle United's new signing Bruno Guimaraes after his unveiling at St James' Park on Monday. PA

Guimaraes, who could make his debut against fellow strugglers Everton on Tuesday, said he been told what to expect at St James' Park by Brazil teammates Thiago Silva, Gabriel Jesus and Alex Telles — of Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United, respectively.

“They told me how difficult it is to play away at Newcastle given how passionate the fans are, that it’s one of the most difficult away fixtures in the league, so I didn’t have to think twice about coming here,” he said.

Asked which Brazilian player he most closely resembled, Guimaraes said: “In terms of Brazilian players I’m quite similar to, it’s difficult. I’d say two Spanish players I’ve always been inspired by, Andres Iniesta and Xavi.

“In terms of Brazilian players that I have always been a huge fan of, it’s Ronaldinho — but we’re very different players.”

In his pre-match press conference, manager Eddie Howe suggested his new signing might need time to adapt to England football.

“Every team you join there is a period of adjustment,” said Howe. “Even if you have been at a Premier League club. The adjustment is bigger if you haven’t been.

“So with Bruno Guimaraes we will have to assess him and make a decision on how quickly we transition him into the team. He is certainly someone we love and we can’t wait to see him in a Newcastle shirt.

“I think he will bring some great quality to us, he has that composure and calmness we need. I am really pleased.

“As for the other guys, I can’t wait to see them, again transition them into the team. I think they are experienced Premier League players.

“The only thing is Dan [Burn] has a slight toe problem that has been aggravating him the last few days. Which hopefully is nothing too serious, small thing that can sometimes be a big thing.”

Updated: February 07, 2022, 4:51 PM
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