Bruno Guimaraes has revealed he signed for Newcastle United to win the Champions League.
The Brazilian midfielder was one of five players Eddie Howe brought in during the January transfer window, requiring his signature for £33.3m from Lyon amid interest from elsewhere in the Premier League, with Arsenal one of the clubs heavily associated with his name.
Guimaraes, 24, signed a four-and-a-half-year deal at St. James’ Park and has whetted the appetite of Newcastle fans following their Saudi-led takeover from much-maligned Mike Ashley, which has made them football’s richest club.
Although Newcastle are currently circling the drain near the foot of the Premier League table, Guimaraes believes that if the Magpies can beat the drop, then they will eventually go on to compete for club football’s most-coveted trophy: the Champions League.
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“The owners were very up front and honest about it,” he said.
“They didn’t disguise that the main objective and challenge was remaining in the Premier League this season.
“But in the seasons coming, the objective is to be in the Champions League and to eventually win the Champions League, so I believe in the project, I believe in everything they spoke to me about and I’m really happy to be involved in this project.”
Guimaraes was heavily-linked with a move to Arsenal last month, and when quizzed on whether he sees Newcastle as a club on the same level as their north London counterparts, he replied: “Definitely. We’re going to be a club that is going to be a big power in world football.
“It’s already a club with a great tradition, a big history, and I have no doubts about my decision to come to Newcastle.”
The Brazilian added that he spoke with a number of his compatriots in the Premier League before signing the dotted line on Tyneside, notably Thiago Silva, Gabriel Jesus and Alex Telles.
“They told me how difficult it is to play away at Newcastle given how passionate the fans are, that it’s one of the most difficult away fixtures in the league, so I didn’t have to think twice about coming here,” he said.
“I’m really happy to be here and really looking forward to experiencing the atmosphere of the Premier League and Newcastle.”