Ranking the chances of the Champions League 29 signing Bruno Guimaraes

Will Ford
Bruno Champions League
Bruno Guimaraes can join any Champions League team for £80m this summer.

Bruno Guimaraes has been attracting the attention of Europe’s elite for some time, and Newcastle are powerless to stop him leaving this summer, with the Brazilian’s heart set on playing Champions League football after his brief taste this season.

Eddie Howe says his £100m release clause expires at the end of June, but a further report claims there’s also a ‘verbal agreement’ in place between Bruno and Newcastle that he can leave the club for £80m if a Champions League club comes knocking. That feels like a very daft thing for Newcastle to have agreed to seeing as 95 per cent of the clubs able to afford him – essentially everyone other than Chelsea and Manchester United – look set to be playing Champions League football next season.

Anyway, with that verbal agreement and his obsession with Champions League football in mind, we’ve ranked all of the 29 teams currently positioned to play in Europe’s showcase competition next season (seven places will be determined via qualifying) by their chance of signing Bruno Guimaraes in the summer.


29) Brest
The Ligue 1 surprise package of the season would have to splash out comfortably more to sign Bruno than they’ve spent on transfers in their history. They’ve spent under £50m on players this century, before which we’re met with a series of ‘free transfers’ and question marks on Transfermarkt, denoting a time in which we assume they landed players through little more than shoulder shrugs and a promise of the finest French cheeses.


28) Celtic
There’s not exactly a rich history of Brazilians at Celtic. Bruno would be following in the footsteps of just two players: Juninho, whom you may know as the Middlesbrough magician, and Rafael Schiedt, whom you are very unlikely to know of at all. Quite apart from that, a maximum of eight Champions League games in the new group format is unlikely to be enough of a lure with Scottish Premiership football to look forward to besides.


27) Anderlecht
A squad sprinkled with stardust, but stardust they’ve had to wait about as long as dust would take to travel from a star to join them. Perhaps a landing spot for Bruno in a decade or so, at which point Jan Vertonghen (37) will still be captain of Anderlecht and at the heart of Belgium’s defence.


26) Salzburg
Incredibly, at the age of 26, Bruno would be the second-oldest outfield player at Salzburg, where the average age of the starting lineup this season has been a frankly ridiculous 21.1. It’s a starter club in a league off the radar.


25) Stuttgart
They finished 16th in the previous two seasons and will probably be closer to that than Champions League qualification again next term when Serhou Guirassy gets poached and Denis Undav goes back to Brighton. That pair have scored 43 of their 68 Bundesliga goals this season.


24) Feyenoord
Very unlikely with Arne Slot; impossible without him.


23) Shakhtar Donetsk
He would become the 42nd Brazilian to play for the Ukrainians, with Douglas Costa, Elano, Willian, Fernandinho and Fred among its famous alumni. But Shakhtar has tended to be a jumping off point to bigger and better things.


22) Bologna
It’s not Barcelona but they do have La Masia graduate Thiago Motta – who was linked with replacing Xavi before his U-turn – as their current boss. But again, it’s not Barcelona, and Motta probably won’t be there next season anyway.


21) Monaco
They’ve not been in the Champions League proper since Radamel Falcao left the club in 2019.


20) PSV Eindhoven
He’ll would probably win some silverware, but the sort of silverware that’s brought out as a last resort when you’re eating the leftovers on Boxing Day with the Christmas washing up piled high on the side.


19) Benfica
They would probably still make a transfer surplus by signing Bruno, after Joao Neves, The Next Enzo Fernandez, is bought for £100m+ by a club hoping he turns out to be a significantly better footballer than the actual Enzo Fernandez.


18) RB Leipzig
They’ll likely have a sizeable transfer kitty with Benjamin Sesko, Lois Openda and Dani Olmo all in high demand, but will spend it on multiple young prospects, as is their way.


17) Roma
It won’t be enough, but playing under Daniele De Rossi – a player not dissimilar to Bruno – may be a bit of a draw. He’s won 2.21 points per game as Roma’s boss having taken over from Jose Mourinho.


16) Borussia Dortmund
Looks like for the time being – until Xabi Alonso leaves for Real Madrid – that Dortmund will have at least two teams significantly better than them in the league for farmers.


15) Sporting CP
They’ll probably have the funds with 38-goal Viktor Gyokeres sure to fetch £90m this summer, and they may well still have their highly sought-after manager after Ruben Amorim’s agent f***ed it with Liverpool and West Ham f***ed it with themselves. But Bruno’s not going to Portugal.


14) AC Milan
A history of Brazilian greats and a great history in general, but Milan have never spent over £50m on a footballer and they’re not about to start now.


13) Juventus
Thiago Motta may well be at the helm as their reported first choice to replace the struggling Max Allegri, but having been barred from European competition for breaking FFP rules this season, it’s hard to imagine the level of stupidity and incompetence required to splash £80m on one player.


12) Aston Villa
A big club with a big fanbase and a brilliant manager, that may well lose an excellent Brazilian midfielder in Douglas Luiz and could replace him with another. Bruno’s concerns will be that their Champions League qualification is a flash in the pan and that Unai Emery could soon be poached.


11) Girona
He won’t play for Girona, but he could play for City Group daddy Manchester City on loan from Girona. Imagine the uproar.


10) Bayer Leverkusen
He would have a lovely time as the football they play under Xabi Alonso looks like it’s a hell of a lot of fun, and they will probably have the money required with many of their brightest and best attracting Premier League attention. There’s also the distinct possibility of a season with Leverkusen before a move to Madrid with the manager.


9) Atletico Madrid
He’s a Diego Simeone player: quality on the ball and a fighter off it.


8) Inter Milan
They’ll have some money in their pocket after their run to the Champions League final last term and the Scudetto win this season, and may well bank significantly more as interest in Lautaro Martinez, Nicolo Barella and Alessandro Bastoni hasn’t gone away. They feel like a genuine European giant for the first time in a while.


7) Liverpool
Wataru Endo’s form in the second half of the season has put paid to the idea that Liverpool definitely need a new number six, and Arne Slot, or whoever takes charge, will have other transfer priorities – a new left-back and at least one centre-back – but they would be daft to not at least sound Bruno out over a potential move to Anfield. If nothing else, they could prevent him from moving to and improving a direct Premier League rival.

READ MORE: Five players Liverpool should discard/sell for the post-Jurgen Klopp era


6) Barcelona
It was claimed last year that the ‘secret clause’ in Bruno Guimaraes’ contract that allows him to leave for under £100m mark only applied to Barcelona. It’s his ‘dream’ to play for the Catalans, who would take him in a heartbeat having used Andreas Christensen at the base of their midfield this season. The big question is which ‘economic levers’ Joan Laporta will pull to come up with the £80m. Maybe they could just sell parts of Bruno himself, or offer him up as a celebrity guest at functions – weddings and the like. Or, better yet, get ‘Spotify’ tattooed on his forehead.


5) Bayern Munich
They may have been pummelled in the Bundesliga but they’ll reap the financial rewards of going deep in the Champions League and given Leverkusen’s dominance this season, the new manager is sure to be handed significant funds to ensure their return to supremacy in Germany. They were very keen on a defensive midfielder last summer and again in January, but made do after their deal for Fulham’s Joao Palhinha fell through. It feels like a very nice fit for both Bruno and Bayern.


4) Real Madrid
They’re very well stocked with midfielders as it is having spent a cool £200m on Jude Bellingham, Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga in the last three seasons, and although Kylian Mbappe will technically move on a free transfer, he’s reportedly set to be handed a £128m signing-on fee. Madrid are unlikely to have the desire or wherewithal to sign Bruno as well. But it’s Real Madrid; you never can tell with them.


3) Arsenal
Jorginho looks set to return to Italy at the end of his contract this summer, while reports suggest Arsenal will get what they can for Thomas Partey. They need a number six to complete the midfield trio alongside Declan Rice and Martin Odegaard, and it feels like Bruno would be the ideal addition to play that role. He’s essentially a more physical and powerful version of Jorginho, playing key passes from deep but also able get around the pitch and win the ball back.


2) Paris Saint-Germain
Reports claim they’re already in talks with Bruno’s representative over a move, as they continue with their no-star-names-but-£100m-footballers-will-do transfer strategy after the Neymar-Lionel Messi-Kylian Mbappe triumvirate failed to lead them to the Champions League. They have the money, and for reasons we still don’t truly understand, brilliant footballers always seem to want to go there.


1) Manchester City
Having lost out to Arsenal in the battle for Declan Rice, City surely won’t make the same mistake again, particularly if they’re pipped to the title by Mikel Arteta’s side. Rice has made a huge difference to the Gunners and City may very well still be on course for a double treble had they paid an extra £10m for his services in the summer. With poor ickle Rodri so very tired, Pep Guardiola will want another body to play instead of or alongside him in midfield, and after Kalvin Phillips, he’ll surely want his bosses to go after the cream of the crop.