Arsenal given serious boost in Lucas Paqueta chase as Lyon official responds to Edu acclaim

Arsenal target Lucas Paqueta

Arsenal could complete another impressive signing before next season begins as Lyon chief Bruno Cheyrou has made an admission about Lucas Paqueta leaving the French club.

Arsenal have been active in the summer transfer window, bringing five new players to Emirates Stadium. Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko have both arrived from Manchester City, while Fabio Vieira cost £34million when joining from Porto.

The Gunners have also signed 19-year-old winger Marquinhos – to keep one eye on the future – and US goalkeeper Matt Turner, who will deputise for Aaron Ramsdale.

Jesus looks like the best new arrival so far. In pre-season he has found the net four times in as many appearances, which includes a goal in the recent 4-0 victory over Chelsea.

The Brazil forward appears set for an exciting season as Mikel Arteta’s team eye a return to the Champions League.

Versatile Ukraine international Zinchenko could rival Jesus when it comes to Arsenal’s signing of the summer. He can operate in defence or midfield and is an incredibly reliable player.

But Arsenal aren’t done yet and could land another top star before the window closes on Thursday September 1.

The Gunners are big admirers of Lyon attacking midfielder Paqueta and have been tipped to make a bid for several months.

Edu lauds Lucas Paqueta and gets Lyon response

Arsenal technical director Edu broke his silence on the links on Sunday, during an interview with TNT Sports Brazil. He said: “I’m very respectful when I talk about Lucas Paqueta.

“I’m a guy who likes him a lot, I’ve always liked him, since my time with Brazil’s national team.

“He’s had a great season, he was considered the best [overseas] player in the French league.

“But today, there really isn’t any kind of talk, there’s only my admiration for the player, because the squad today is, in the position he plays, I think we’re very well served in this regard.”

Lyon recruitment chief Cheyrou has now come in with a response. And he has given Arsenal encouragement a deal can be struck by hinting Paqueta will move on.

“We need to reduce the squad size,” Cheyrou said at a press conference (via 90Min). “In terms of departures, we will analyse offers on a case-by-case basis but the economics will come into consideration. We will consider the offers with Jean-Michel Aulas and Vincent Ponsot in order to make the best decisions.

“I am here to ensure the best team possible, but there are other things to take into account as well.”

Lyon ‘prepared’ for star to go

On Paqueta in particular, the official added: “We are prepared for every eventuality.”

It seems Lyon could be willing to let the 24-year-old leave if Arsenal make a suitable offer. The Ligue 1 outfit reportedly value Paqueta at between £50m and £55m.

This means Paqueta would not arrive cheap. However, he is one of Lyon’s best players and clearly has the attributes to succeed in the Premier League.

The Brazil international hit 10 goals in 42 matches last term, as well as registering seven assists. He has experience playing in European competition as well, which is good for Arsenal.

A firm bid from the Gunners is yet to arrive, although it wouldn’t be a surprise if Edu sanctioned one soon given his love for the player.

Meanwhile, Arsenal are willing to accept a reduced fee to allow Bernd Leno to join a Premier League suitor, as per a report.