Eddie Howe has played down suggestions Bruno Guimaraes ‘waved goodbye’ to Newcastle United fans after their win over Brentford, with the midfielder wanted by Arsenal and Manchester City.

The Magpies ended their Premier League campaign with a 4-2 victory in west London, with Guimaraes playing a starring role as he assisted two of the goals and netted late on himself too.

At the end of the match, the Brazil international was seen waving and gesturing to the Newcastle travelling supporters and seemed a little emotional.

Guimaraes has a £100million release clause in his contract which can be triggered next month, with both champions City and runners-up Arsenal believed to be considering making a swoop.

Howe, however, encouraged fans not to read too much into Guimaraes’ gesture at the end of the match and is hopeful he will still be a Newcastle player next season.

Asked about Guimaraes’ gesture, Howe replied: ‘I don’t think it’s a wave goodbye. Bruno probably does that many times but it can be interpreted in a way that people watching decide that’s the case.

‘Certainly from my side, I hope it’s not. He is integral to what we’re doing and is an inspirational player, we’re desperate to keep him.’

Striker Alexander Isak has also been linked with a move, with Howe saying of the pair: ‘They’re two outstanding players.

‘I’ve said many times this season and they can make the difference and have made the difference at numerous times.

‘It’s always about the team and how the team functions. The team gives them a platform to play well and their involvement in the goals today was top class but you can’t forget their team-mates who helped them.’

Guimaraes himself appeared to be looking ahead to next season when he wrote on his Instagram page: ‘Finished the season with a memorable match!

‘Three points, two assists and one goal. Thank you for the support today and we hope it’s enough for us to be in Europe next season! Howay the lads.’

Guimaraes even had time to dig out talkSPORT pundits Danny Murphy and Simon Jordan, who had claimed in February that he was not athletic enough to be ‘one of the best’ in the league.

Following his man-of-the-match display at Brentford, Guimaraes uploaded a screenshot of a Sky Sports graphic which showed he had covered the most distance of any player in the Premier League this season, ironically captioning it with the words ‘he isn’t athletic’ alongside a thumbs up and laughing emoji.