Lucas Paqueta agents step in with well-timed transfer ploy to advance Arsenal deal with Lyon

Lucas Paqueta, Strasbourg v Lyon April 2022

The agents of Lucas Paqueta have reportedly intervened in his Arsenal transfer talks by asking Lyon to return a favour he did the French club when signing.

The Gunners are chasing the Brazil international as they look to add a more senior midfielder to their ranks. Fabio Vieira has already joined from Porto in a £34million deal, but manager Mikel Arteta wants more experience.

And Lyon’s Paqueta has become the focus of Arsenal’s attention in recent days. The Ligue 1 side sold a star midfielder in January when Newcastle signed Bruno Guimaraes in a club-record deal.

They are now demanding another sizeable fee for Paqueta, which Arsenal are trying to drive down.

Previous reports claimed that Lyon want €80million (£67million) for their star midfielder. UOL Esporte now says that €60million (£50million) is the lowest offer they will consider.

But even that sum has put Arsenal off, with the Gunners feeling Lyon have stipulated an ‘exaggerated’ fee.

Lyon, in contrast, feel selling Paqueta for three times what they paid for him is about right. His recent progress and the fact that he has three years left on his contract form their reasoning.

Lyon are digging their heels in but do reportedly accept that Paqueta’s exciting rise – and the promise of a move to a new league with new opportunities – could leave them exposed.

There is also the prospect of the midfielder losing value after a below-par season having eaten into another year of his deal.

Lucas Paqueta agents help Arsenal

And Paqueta’s agents have subsequently stepped in to try and further loosen Lyon’s resistance.

They have reminded the French club that their client took a pay cut to leave Milan in September 2020.

Paqueta’s camp now want Lyon to return the favour by accepting a lower fee for their star player.

Despite the current friction over Paqueta’s future, both sides are handling the situation ‘calmly’ amid the lack of competition for the midfielder and the time left in the transfer window.

In any case, Arsenal transfer chief Edu has strong ties to his fellow Brazilian which are keeping the Gunners in the hunt.

Midfield star could move on

There are arguments for both sides making their demands over Paqueta’s transfer fee.

The 24-year-old has three years left on his contract. That means Lyon are in a strong negotiating position over his future.

At the same time, though, the Ligue 1 side have to accept that Paqueta may fancy a step up to a new league.

This summer may therefore end up being the best time for Lyon to sell up to make sure they get the most profit.

Arsenal want another new midfielder this summer and clearly believe they can negotiate with Lyon over their Brazil international.