Arsenal transfer news: Lyon settle on Lucas Paqueta fee but new rival suitors sniff transfer hijack

Lucas Paqueta, Porto v Lyon March 2022

Lyon will find it hard to refuse offers worth £55million for Arsenal midfield target Lucas Paqueta, but a Serie A side are now reportedly sniffing a deal too.

The Gunners have identified the Brazil international as one of a number of options for a midfield signing. Leicester’s Youri Tielemans and Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic also feature on their radar.

But as talk over Arsenal interest in Tielemans has died down, so speculation about Paqueta’s future has ramped up.

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas confirmed last week that his star midfielder has “proposals” on the table.

And £50million is reportedly the starting point for the French club in negotiations for Paqueta.

According to CBS Sports journalist Ben Jacobs, though, Lyon reportedly want closer to £55million. That is some way down from the £70million Aulas had quoted interested parties earlier this year.

Newcastle also have interest in Paqueta after they signed his former team-mate Bruno Guimaraes in January.

But Jacobs now claims that Jose Mourinho’s Roma fancy their chances of signing Paqueta.

Nevertheless, the reporter claims Arsenal transfer chief Edu feels ‘confident’ of convincing the midfielder to move to the Emirates Stadium.

Edu will not get into a bidding war with the Gunners’ transfer rivals, but hopes not to have to. Indeed, he is looking to persuade Paqueta of a move to north London, steering him away from Newcastle or Rome despite potentially higher offers.

Paqueta has impressed since his move from AC Milan to Lyon in September 2020. He has become a senior Brazil international ahead of the World Cup in Qatar later this year.

Playing mostly as an attacking midfielder, he can also play more centrally and out wide. The versatile star has also played as a centre-forward on occasion.

Arsenal need Paqueta or alternative

Arsenal have enjoyed another solid transfer window, the second in succession in which they have spent big sums.

Last summer, boss Mikel Arteta revamped his ranks with a new goalkeeper, centre-back, full-backs and midfielders.

This time around, new striker Gabriel Jesus is the poster boy for their investment.

However, there is a feeling that there is one or two more standout deals in the works for Arsenal.

And another new midfielder after Fabio Vieira looks a good move.

The Gunners have exciting young talents such as Emile Smith Rowe and Martin Odegaard, but they need more experience alongside them if they are to finally push the club back into the Premier League’s top four.