BARCELONA

Olympique Lyon's Bruno Guimarães on Barcelona's radar

A technically-gifted, gritty, attack-minded midfielder who has impressed Barca. His performance against Juventus caught the eye of the Spanish club.

Olympique Lyon's Bruno Guimarães on Barcelona's radar

Barcelona have taken an interest in Bruno Guimarães. At 22, the captain of Brazil's Olympic team and star of Olympique Lyon really came to prominence after his brilliant performance against Juventus in the first leg of Champions League Last 16 tie earlier this year. Guimarães is a complete, all-round midfielder - blessed with technical skill, and attacking mind and an aggressive style. Those qualities caught the eye of Lyon's Director of Sport Juninho Pernambucano, who took it on himself to persuade the player not to join Atlético Madrid but to continue his development in Ligue 1.

Lyon fail to qualify for Europe

However, the French government's decision to declare this season's Ligue 1 as now concluded has created an unexpected situation for Lyon, who finish seventh in the table and out of the European places. It means that Jean-Michel Aulas will have to sell at least one of his star players before next season and Barcelona are ready to make the most of the opportunity. Barca have initiated contact with the club and the player's agents to make sure they are well placed to land Guimarães if Arthur Melo ends up moving to Italy.

Bruno's arrival in Lyon wasn't without some controversy. He rejected a bigger offer in January from Atlético Madrid, who had paid two million euros to secure a preferential option on the player after signing Renan Lodi. But Lyon offered the player a guarantee of regular football in a team which was in the knockout stages of the Champions League. And he chose Lyon.

Bruno, an instant hit with Lyon fans

Guimarães entered the team as a starter and was voted MVP by the fans in three consecutive games - including the Derby du Rhône clash with Saint-Étienne and the first leg victory over Juventus. Things snowballed from there - first with a call-up from Brazil and then with Barça establishing contact.

Bruno Guimarães earned his right to wear the captain's armband for Brazil's Olympic team through a lot of hard work and by having the right attitude - on top of the natural talent he possesses. He really came into his own at Atletico Paranaense, winning the Copa do Brasil and South American Cup alongside his best friend, Atleti left-back Renan Lodi. Bruno asked the Furacão for permission to play for Brazil's Under-23s in the pre-Olympic tournament at the start of the year. He showed he is a born leader and that is one of the reasons why Barça have taken such a keen interest in him.