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Newcastle United’s new £33million signing Bruno Guimaraes has been handed an unusual shirt number after completing his high-profile move from Lyon.
The Brazilian becomes the club’s second-most expensive signing in their history after putting pen to paper on a long-term contract with The Magpies.
The club announced the 24-year-old will take the No.39 shirt after becoming Eddie Howe’s third signing of the window, following Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood to St James’ Park.
While it may seem like an unconventional number for Guimaraes to pick, the Rio de Janeiro-born star has a heartwarming reason behind the choice of the special digits.
Guimaraes was born in the Brazilian capital’s Sao Cristovao neighbourhood and, according to The Times, he was remains close to his family and place of birth to this day.
His father, Dick, worked as a taxi driver, roaming around on the streets of Rio as a young Guimaraes made his way through the youth ranks.
When he signed for Lyon from Atletico Paranaense in 2020, Guimaraes chose the number 39 as a homage to the number his dad’s taxi carried.
And he has continued that tradition after being handed the chance to pick his special number for his latest move to Tyneside, with the new shirt likely to be popular amongst Newcastle fans.
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The report also says that Guimaraes re-watches all of his matches with his parents when he goes back to visit and uploaded a picture of their time spent together over the festive period.
Describing her son’s character, Marcia claims Guimaraes is a model citizen: “He goes to bed early, doesn’t go out and has never drunk a drop of alcohol,” she said.
News of the midfielder’s signing is likely to provide relief and delight in equal measure to Toon fans, who have been frustrated by the club’s lack of business in the transfer window.
But signing a player of his calibre and reputation sends a message that the club’s mega-rich owners, the Saudi-based Public Investment Fund, are serious about taking the club to new heights following their £305m takeover in October.
"Bruno is a hugely exciting talent and has been one of our primary targets so I'm delighted to secure him,” Howe said.
“He strengthens the group immediately ready for the challenge ahead.
"He has been one of the standout performers in France and is a full international for Brazil so I have no doubt our supporters will really enjoy watching him.”
Howe is still hoping to clinch three more signings at least before the deadline, with a £9m move for Brighton centre-back Dan Burn thought to be close to completion.
Talks are ongoing for Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah and Aston Villa full-back Matt Targett ahead of Monday’s transfer deadline.
But after securing Guimaraes’ signature, Newcastle fans will surely feel more optimistic of their chances of staying in the top flight.
- Newcastle United FC
- Premier League
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