Bruno Guimaraes to Arsenal: Man United hand Gunners transfer boost

Arsenal have received a welcome boost in their £100m pursuit of Newcastle midfielder Bruno Guimaraes, from the unlikeliest of sources.

Newcastle looked all set to qualify for the Europa Conference League after their 4-2 win at Brentford on the final day.

Bruno Guimaraes to Arsenal: the Brazilian is one the Premier League's best midfielders
Bruno Guimaraes to Arsenal: could he be the Gunners' missing midfield piece? – Photo by Icon Sport

But when eighth-placed Manchester United unexpectedly beat local rivals Manchester City in the FA Cup Final last weekend, they took the Premier League's second Europa League spot.

This bumped Chelsea into the Conference League, and dumped Newcastle out completely.

Newcastle failing to qualify for any European competition at all will reduce their revenues, and put further strain on their already precarious chances of meeting the Premier League's Profit and Sustainability Rules.

Thanks to Manchester United's win, the Magpies are now in even greater need to raise funds through transfers, further strengthening Arsenal's hand in negotiations.

Arsenal's St. James' Park raid: as it stands

Following comments from renowned journalist David Ornstein that Arsenal “really like” Newcastle's Bruno Guimaraes, fresh reports claim that Arsenal sporting director Edu is confident of striking a deal.

But the Gunners may not be done raiding Newcastle there.

With the Magpies facing issues with the Premier League's profit and sustainability rules, Arsenal will “go big” for Newcastle's red-hot striker, Alexander Isak, according to transfer insider Paul O'Keefe.

Bruno Guimaraes to Arsenal: The real Granit Xhaka replacement?

In a recent appearance on The Athletic FC podcast, Ornstein said that Arsenal, as well as other clubs, “really like” Guimaraes, not just for his quality, but as he “can play in the eight role and the six.”

Midfield stalwart Granit Xhaka left for Bayer Leverkusen in the summer of 2023, and Kai Havertz was seen as the Swiss’ replacement.

Guimaraes could be a true Granit Xhaka replacement – Photo by Icon Sport

Havertz has grown as the season has progressed and has had some excellent performances, but he is not suited to play in midfield every game, with more of his minutes coming as a striker in recent weeks.

Declan Rice has played there too, but doesn’t possess the same range of passing as Xhaka.

Guimaraes is a close stylistic match to Xhaka, he even has the same feisty attitude and could allow the Gunners to start with a stellar midfield trio.

Interestingly, Arsenal considered signing the Brazilian while he was at Lyon, and at home club Athletico Paranaense. 

With a £100m release clause, but also an alleged verbal agreement with Newcastle to allow him to leave for less, it could be third time lucky for Edu.

Alexander Isak: Superstar in waiting

Arsenal have long admired Alexander Isak. The Gunners strongly considered activating the Swede's Real Sociedad release clause in January 2022, mere months before Newcastle did.

Newcastle's financial issues could allow Arteta and Edu to go back for Isak.

Despite a rocky 2023/24 for the club, Isak has impressed. The 24-year-old has scored 21 Premier League goals, at a rate of 0.84 per 90 minutes.

Alexander Isak would be pricy, but worth it for Arsenal – Photo by Icon Sport

A prodigiously talented forward, Isak has earned comparisons to Arsenal icon Thierry Henry.

The similarities are clear. The pair possess the same tall, athletic build, electric pace, ability to carry the ball at speed, humiliate defenders one-on-one, and finish from anywhere.

Arsenal have at times this season lacked a player with raw ‘x-factor', capable of winning a game on their own. Isak is exactly that.

And with both Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah rumoured to be leaving, there could be ample space up top at the Emirates Stadium. He could even have his pick of #9 or #14 on the back of his shirt.

If Arsenal could prise Isak away from St James' Park, as well as Bruno Guimaraes, it would be a stunning and unprecedented move that would define the Gunners as one of the most desirable clubs in the world.

William Evans is a football and politics fanatic. A first-class graduate of UEA's Broadcast and Digital Journalism MA course, he also achieved a first class degree in politics and media studies during his time at UEA.