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Bruno Guimaraes: We have 10 games to save Newcastle’s season

Bruno Guimaraes puts his hand to his face and grimaces after Newcastle's FA Cup defeat by Man City

Newcastle United have 10 games to save their season according to midfielder Bruno Guimaraes, whose long-term future at the club hinges on them playing in Europe again next term.

Eddie Howe’s team are 10th in the table, four points adrift of West Ham in seventh who they play at St James’ Park immediately after the international break.

The Brazil international has a release clause in the contract he signed last year, which is understood to be activated if a club bids £100 million for the 26-year-old.

There is no guarantee that anyone will offer that amount of money for a player who moved to Newcastle for around £35 million in January 2022, but Bruno is bound to be unsettled if the team is not in Europe.

With Bruno’s close friend Joelinton still stalling on signing an extension to his contract which expires in the summer of 2026, there are concerns both Brazilians could depart this summer.

That would help fund the rebuild of the squad that is desperately needed to add greater strength in depth to cope with injuries, but would mean Howe losing two of his star players in one transfer window.

“Struggling to find words now,” Bruno wrote on social media. “Disappointed to not go through in the FA Cup. We still have 10 games in the Premier League to save our season. We count on our fans as always.”

He also told reporters immediately after the 2-0 defeat by Manchester City: “It’s been a very difficult season for us but when we’re back from the break there are 10 games ahead and the target is at least to get the club to play in Europe once again.”

Newcastle are currently struggling to remove the handcuffs applied to them by the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules, but are confident they will be able to announce a new sponsorship deal, possibly for the training ground, before the end of the season.

With a new £40 million kit deal with Adidas starting next season, as well as the benefits of their £25 million-a-year shirt sponsorship contract with Sela being felt for the first time, Newcastle will have more money to spend in the summer. They have increased their revenue to around £250 million a year since the takeover in October 2021, but the pressure is building on the commercial team to bring in significantly more money and quickly.

But player trading will also be vital if the mistakes of this season are not going to be repeated. Newcastle had more than 12 players missing through December with injuries and are currently without captain Kieran Trippier, his deputy at right-back Tino Livramento, Joelinton, summer signing Harvey Barnes as well as striker Callum Wilson.

Even the players who have come back from long-term injuries, like Joe Willock, Sven Botman and Elliot Anderson are struggling for match fitness.

That has forced Howe to rely too heavily on players he inherited from Steve Bruce when he became manager two-and-a-half years ago, as well as players like Matt Ritchie and Paul Dummett, who spend their time as unused substitutes.

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