Bruno Guimaraes? Isak? Botman? Who, If Anyone, Should Newcastle United Sell This Summer To Satisfy FFP?

Published on 18 January 2024 at 20:00

Amidst demands to meet FFP and PSR rules, could Newcastle United REALLY be forced to sell one of their stars in the near future?


"We're not here to be popular. We're here to compete." It's one of the many now celebrated quotes of Eddie Howe since he became manager of Newcastle United in late 2021: in what's been a truly transformative time for the club, the Magpies have ascended from the foot of the table all the way into the dizzying heights of the Champions League and playing a cup final at Wembley, and many are expecting the club to continue their upwards trajectory in 2024 and beyond.


Well, that is if Newcastle are actually ABLE to compete with those above them in the Premier League.


The last few weeks have been a brutal reality check for Newcastle fans: the current squad continues to be blighted by injuries to key players like Joelinton, Joe Willock and Nick Pope, and there was of course the financial results, accompanied by an ominous video from club CEO Darren Eales.


It seems that even having the richest owners in club football hasn't spared Newcastle United from being hamstrung by Financial Fair Play (FFP) and Profit and Sustainability Rules (PSR), a common misconception from many that Newcastle would enjoy free-spending similar to that of Chelsea and Manchester City did before their meteoric rise to the top of continental football.


Losses equating to £73.4m in the last financial year, thanks to big money transfers like Anthony Gordon, Tino Livramento and Harvey Barnes and a lack of significant departures, has dealt a major blow to any hopes of an exciting January transfer window on Tyneside.


In his video, Eales stated that "Any decision we make will always be against the backdrop of the medium to long-term benefit for the club. It's difficult to say specifically on certain players, but I can say that, if we're going to get to where we want to get to, at times it is necessary to trade your players."


Highlighting the impact that Phillipe Coutinho and Jack Grealish's departures had on the development of Liverpool and Aston Villa respectively, Eales' very alluding words haven't made for much pleasant hearing to anyone getting hopeful about Newcastle's immediate and short term future.


Already lacking the major squad depth that benefits the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool so well in comparison to the rest of the league, selling a marquee player to even attempt to satisfy financial regulations could completely torpedo any momentum and signs of elite quality in Newcastle United's squad.


So if it really came down to it, which big name could Newcastle United look to sell in the near future?


Read More: Could Kylian Mbappe Soon Play For Liverpool?


Bruno Guimaraes:


Well on the way to becoming a permanent fixture in Brazil's squad, and courted by some of Europe's top sides, there is a sickening sense of inevitability for many Newcastle fans that Guimaraes will move away from the North East in the very near future.


One of the best in the world in his position, and barely putting a foot wrong on and off the pitch, Guimaraes does reportedly have admirers at PSG, who will likely be looking for depth outside of Zaire-Energy, Ugarte and Kang-In Lee. But one has to wonder, are Guimarares and his family so enamoured with the local area and club that it would take only a monumental offer from Real Madrid and Barcelona to sway the 26-year-old?


Alexander Isak:

Thanks to the distinct lack of prolific strikers in the Premier League, and in top flight football across the continent in general, Alexander Isak will surely find himself at the top of many managers' wishlists in the coming windows.


One of only seven players to hit double digits for goals in the Premier League this season, Isak would perhaps best suit an Arsenal or Manchester United side in desperate need of a striker to compete with City's Erling Haaland. Bought for a club record fee of £63m, and considering the inflated fees some strikers are reportedly set to command in the near future (Evan Ferguson at over £100m, Armanda Broja at £50m), Newcastle could very likely double their investment on Isak if they chose to sell in the very near future.


Sven Botman:


In what was a major coup for Newcastle, beating out AC Milan (and then Sporting Director Paolo Maldini in particular) for Botman's signature felt like a true statement of intent in snapping up one of Europe's most highly-touted young defenders.


With the rest of the club's centre back options all being on the 'wrong' side of 30-years-old, any sort of departure or repeat injury layoff for Botman would be nothing short of disastrous for Newcastle in both the short term and in the long run.


In what could be considered a slight blessing however, the modern game's focus on having quicker defenders could point any top clubs in the direction of William Saliba or Ronald Araujo over Botman in spite of the Dutchman's leadership qualities and impeccable defensive capabilities.


Lewis Miley and Elliot Anderson:


A successful academy is crucial for any team to truly flourish, and if those players can't quite cement themselves as undroppable stars in the starting XI, then their departures can go an incredibly long way to boosting their club's financial future.


Lewis Miley has won major plaudits this season for adapting to Premier League and Champions League football this season, and Elliot Anderson showcased immense signs of potential before his long-term injury this season, and both players would be welcome additions to much of the Premier League's 'Other 14' in terms of squad depth options, and even as players to build their youth development around.


But losing two 'local lads' at Newcastle, a club whose most treasured and beloved players in their history come from the local area, is simply just another unfathomable option, which leaves perhaps one more selling option for Newcastle United.


Sandro Tonali:


You can almost pinpoint the very moment Newcastle's season started to turn and decline to what it is now, and that was with Sandro Tonali's ban as a result of the recent betting scandal that gripped Italian football.


Did his original club AC Milan know about it and that's why they seemed so ready to sell one of their top players? It's a question we may likely never know the answer to, but one thing we do know is that the £55m hole in Newcastle United's squad, and nearly without competitive football will leave the 23-year-old deeply below the required fitness levels needed to satisfy Eddie Howe's high demands.


Tonali's talent cannot be denied. A former Scudetto winner with all the hallmarks of the great Italian and Milanese midfielders before him is not a player to be balked at, but considering the chemistry between Newcastle's current midfield options and the integration of local and youthful players, it would take some seriously impressive returns from Tonali next season to continue to warrant his place on Tyneside.


A buyer for Tonali does prove difficult however: the financial state of many Italian clubs likely rules out a return to his native country (Inter Milan, the favourites to be Champions this season and last season's UCL runners up barely surviving thanks to the transfers of Onana and Brozovic is perhaps the greatest example of this) and the Premier League clubs who could afford Tonali might be less than willing to fund Newcastle's future acquisitions...


By Jaspar Shepherdson

(@jasparshepmedia on X/Twitter and Instagram)


Image Credit: SonoGrazy on Wikipedia


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