The underwhelming performances of Oriol Romeu and the clear impact of Frenkie de Jong’s absence due to injury in recent weeks have made it abundantly clear to the people in charge of Barcelona’s transfer business that the signing of a holding midfielder is the number one priority for next season.
And the club has one dream target: Newcastle’s Bruno Guimarães, who has established himself as one of the top players in the position in the continent and has recently signed a new deal with the Magpies. That won’t stop Barça from pursuing the Brazilian if they can afford to do so, which is unlikely given their financial situation.
But the club could get creative, and Mundo Deportivo raises the possibility of a swap deal for Raphinha, who has been a long-time target of the Premier League side. Raphinha still has quite a strong reputation in England and Barça could command a high enough fee to make a swap for Guimarães financially feasible and enticing for Newcastle if Guimarães indicates his desire to move to Camp Nou.
This is a tough deal to pull off given Bruno’s importance to Newcastle and the absence of Sandro Tonali in midfield due to his gambling suspension, making Guimarães even more crucial in Eddie Howe’s plans. Only a clear and express request by Bruno could make this a conversation to begin with, and Raphinha on the other hand has rejected multiple chances to leave Barça and there’s no indication he’s changed his mind yet.
A lot could take place until the end of the season that alters the landscape, however, and as unlikely as this particular deal seems right now, crazier things have certainly happened in football.