After Bruno, Newcastle could embarrass Arsenal again with £50m swoop

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Newcastle United fans have grown accustomed to seeing the word ‘project’ associated with the world’s richest football club.

It’s the word Sven Botman used when discussing a potential summer move to St James’ Park recently.

It is also the word Bruno Guimaraes used when asked Sky Sports why he opted to become Newcastle’s £33million marquee in the January transfer window despite having held talks with a more historically successful top-flight side at Arsenal.

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“I’ve spoken to a few other clubs,” explained Guimaraes when asked about Arsenal’s interest. “But I really wanted to come here (to Newcastle).

“I’ve always wanted to play in the Premier League. And on top of that, it was the starting signal for a new sporting project for the club.”

Will Newcastle ‘Project’ succeed?

If this isn’t the most exciting ‘project’ in European football right now, it certainly is the most ambitious. Making Newcastle United a continental powerhouse will not only require millions of dollars in investment, but also the kind of sensible, shared decision-making that laid the groundwork for the rapid rise of other nouveau riche clubs like Manchester City and RB Leipzig.

An endless supply of cash helps, of course, but money can’t just buy success. The struggles of Hertha Berlin show that.

Newcastle are reportedly taking a leaf out of the playbook of Hertha’s Bundesliga rivals RB Leipzig, with a long-term strategy aimed at signing talented, up-and-coming players with their prime still ahead of them.

There’s a reason Newcastle looked to Ralf Rangnick – the brains behind Red Bull’s football operation – before settling on Eddie Howe.

Yes, January arrivals Kieran Trippier, Chris Wood and Dan Burn don’t exactly fit this model. However, with Newcastle’s immediate ambitions to avoid relegation at all costs, the Magpies had little choice but to think short-term during their first transfer window in the post-Mike Ashley era.

The summer should provide a more accurate barometer of Newcastle’s plans. Targets like Hugo Ekitike (19), Botman (22) and Nico Schlotterbeck (22) all fit into the long-term model. As does 20-year-old Croatian international Josko Gvardiol.

Another Bruno Guimaraes situation?

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Accordingly The post, Newcastle will step up their summer plans this week. Gvardiol is just one name on their hit list.

The £50million-rated defender, who turned down a move to Leeds United in 2020, also has admirers at Arsenal. And it’s tempting to wonder if history could repeat itself just months after Newcastle snatched Guimaraes from under Mikel Arteta’s nose.

In the modern era, even for clubs the size and stature of Arsenal, it is becoming increasingly difficult to compete financially with top-flight rivals such as Newcastle and Man City. Remember that Newcastle’s new owner – Mohamed Bin Salman – is no self-made businessman. He is the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, a man who is worth an estimated £500 billion.

For him, spending £50m on Gvardiol would be like you or I treating ourselves to a night at the cinema. It would barely scratch the surface of his staggering net worth.

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In other news, ‘Didn’t expect that answer’: Neville shares what 2 Leeds players said when asked about march After Bruno, Newcastle could embarrass Arsenal again with £50m swoop

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