Lyon ACCEPT Newcastle United's improved £35m offer for Bruno Guimaraes

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Newcastle directors Mehrdad Ghodoussi and Amanda Staveley
Newcastle directors Mehrdad Ghodoussi and Amanda Staveley

NEWCASTLE UNITED are finalising a deal for Bruno Guimaraes after Lyon accepted the Magpies’ improved £35m offer for the Brazilian midfielder.

And with talks ongoing over Bayer Leverkusen full-back Mitchel Bakker and a number of different central-defensive targets, Newcastle’s recruitment team remain confident of being able to add three more signings before the transfer window closes on Monday night.

Newcastle’s move for Guimaraes stalled on Wednesday when their initial bid of around £30m proved unsuccessful, with Lyon issuing a public statement revealing they had failed to reach an agreement with the Magpies’ recruitment team, led by director Amanda Staveley.

However, Newcastle officials returned to the table earlier today, tabling an improved offer which involved an initial payment of around £35m and a series of potential add-ons that could be worth a further £8m.

Lyon officials accepted the offer late this evening, having spent the day lining up a replacement midfielder they are not confident of signing over the weekend.

Lyon are understood to have made an approach for Brest midfielder Romain Favre, and once they received an indication that they would be able to sign the 23-year-old, they gave Newcastle the green light to sign Guimaraes.

The 24-year-old is currently on international duty in South America, with Brazil taking on Ecuador in a World Cup qualifier late this evening.

Guimaraes’ international call-up has added a further complication to Newcastle’s pursuit, although the Magpies hierarchy have put plans in place to conduct a medical in South America on Friday.

A member of Newcastle's medical staff is set to fly to South America to help ensure a deal is completed well ahead of Monday night’s deadline.

Newcastle’s public courting of Guimaraes had alerted rival clubs to the possibility of prising the 24-year-old from Lyon this month, but while there had been speculation over the last 24 hours that Tottenham were preparing a counter-offer, the Magpies were the only club to hold formal discussions with the Lyon ownership.

Guimaraes’ signature will be a considerable coup, with Eddie Howe having been determined to strengthen his central-midfield ranks this month.

Howe attended Saudi Arabia’s World Cup qualifier with Oman along with Staveley today, and has been heavily involved in Newcastle’s ongoing transfer activity in the last week despite having been in the Middle East along with the Magpies’ first-team squad at a training camp. Newcastle are due to face Saudi Professional League leaders Al-Ittihad in a behind-closed-doors friendly tomorrow.

Howe is hoping to have a new left-back in the ranks by the time his side returns to Premier League duty against Everton on February 8, with talks over Bakker having reached an advanced stage.

Newcastle have lodged an offer of around £14m with Bayer Leverkusen officials, and while their bid has not been officially accepted, the Bundesliga club’s hierarchy have suggested they will be willing to allow the 21-year-old full-back to leave for that price provided they can secure a replacement.

Their search for a viable alternative is ongoing, meaning Newcastle’s recruitment team are effectively having to wait for the green light to fly Bakker to England where he will be able to complete the formalities of his move.

When it comes to trying to recruit a new centre-half, the Magpies’ pursuit of Diego Carlos has run all month, with Sevilla repeatedly moving the goalposts in terms of their financial demands for the centre-half.

Newcastle have tabled at least two formal offers, but are reluctant to go much above £30m for Carlos, who has told Sevilla officials he would like to move to Tyneside this month.

Sevilla continue to dig their heels in and demand at least £40m for the defender, a valuation which Newcastle’s recruitment team feels is too high, and the prospects of an agreement during this month’s window now appear slim.

“The Newcastle offer was a good offer, a respectable offer, I have to say that,” said Sevilla sporting director Monchi. “But the offer, our board and management team thought it wasn’t enough. It’s true that maybe it wasn’t the right time. It’s a difficult market to find a replacement for a player like Diego Carlos.”

Staveley and her advisors have identified potential alternatives, with Brighton duo Adam Webster and Dan Burn and Liverpool youngster Nathaniel Phillips, known to be under consideration.

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