Eddie Howe has claimed that Newcastle United will not be entertaining any bids for Bruno Guimaraes amid speculation that he is being targeted by Real Madrid. Reports have stated that Los Blancos are eyeing a move for the Brazilian to replace Casemiro, who is nearing a big-money move to Manchester United. However, after an electric start to life at St James' Park for Guimaraes, there is understandably no intention of letting him leave seven months later.
Newcastle are understood to have paid upwards of £40 million ($47m) for the Brazil international in January. Even if he was to the subject of a bid from Real Madrid, it would have to be an eye-watering fee.
How did Howe react to Guimaraes speculation?
With rumours involving Guimaraes gathering pace on Thursday afternoon, it was hardly surprising to see Howe fielding questions about his star midfielder in his pre-Manchester City press conference on Friday morning. The Magpies boss was defiant in his response when asked whether the 24-year-old would be going anywhere.
“Absolutely not," said Howe. "We're trying to build a squad here that we feel can take the club to be successful over the next few years and we want to build that squad and enhance the group, not taking away our best players.
“It shows [how good Guimaraes is]. Regarding speculation, I've got no problem with it as such. I think it's a compliment to Bruno and how well he's done for us. He's been incredible I think and he's only going to get better from this point. He's a very valuable member of our team."
Success must follow for Newcastle to hold onto prized assets
Following their takeover last year, Newcastle have been a lot more shrewd in their recruitment than many were expecting. Although, signings such as Guimaraes highlight their long-term ambition and Howe is well aware that they must deliver success to ensure players like him aren't picked off by some of the bigger clubs in world football.
“It will in part come down to how well we perform and how far the team goes in terms of satisfying players that do very well for us over an extended period of time,” he claimed. "Bruno has just started his journey with us and we desperately want him to grow with the team.
"We want to make the team stronger and him to show his quality even more. That's our aim and he's done so well in a short period of time, the supporters love him, we love him and I think he's in a good place."