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Eddie Howe shoots down Bruno Guimaraes exit rumours

As one of the most upwardly mobile teams in English football at the moment, the vibes around Newcastle United are hard to ignore. While there are plenty of questions to be asked about the ownership, on the pitch things are looking great. A series of interesting summer signings paired with great business in January has, for the first time in over a decade, left Newcastle looking like a genuinely progressive team to play against. They are committed, energetic, modern in their pressing, and enjoyable to watch. A huge part of that comes down to Bruno Guimaraes.

The Brazilian arrived from Olympique Lyonnais and immediately set about showing the Premier League how good he is. So much so that, barely seven months on from arriving, Real Madrid are sniffing around. A series of impressive goals and midfield performances has seen other teams take notice. Given the backing Newcastle have, both in the stands and off the pitch, they have absolutely no need to consider a sale.

The deal has come about as a side cause of Manchester United agreeing a deal with Madrid for Casemiro. The midfield destroyer is set to move to Old Trafford on a long-term deal, doubling his wages in the process. United, then, have opened up a gap in the Madrid squad. According to Eddie Howe, though, there is absolutely no chance of a deal being struck.

When asked about this in his pre-match press conference ahead of the weekend, Howe was dismissive of any moves out the door for Guimaraes.

Howe shoots down Guimaraes exit talk

When asked about how Newcastle managed to land the player, Howe noted: "That was an incredible piece of business, really. Not just as the footballer as well, you've got 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 this - with no conditions, no way, out, no escape clause and wanted to fight to keep the club in the Premier League."

He added himself: "We want to build that squad and enhance the group, not take away our best players."

So, it sounds like this deal is a non-starter for all parties. The player is believed to be besotted with the club and his time in England, and sees himself as the key figure in the new project starting on Tyneside. Other new-moneyed clubs built around a key figure in their early days, transforming themselves from also-rans to contenders. Newcastle believe that the Brazilian could be their version of this kind of project.

Seen as essential to what comes in the immediate and long-term future, any exit for the player would need to take an eye-watering fee. For Newcastle, the aim is to build a squad with many talents on the level of the former Lyon man – not selling their stars. The Mike Ashley reign is over, and the new era looks far more ambitious than arguably any Newcastle side has been since the 1990s.

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