A new ownership structure at Lyon could soon ruin Arsenal’s chances of signing midfielder Lucas Paqueta this summer, a report has claimed.
The Gunners have bolstered significantly this summer, but there is talk of another senior midfield signing at the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal previously looked at Leicester’s Youri Tielemans, but concerns over his physicality have put the north London side off.
Meanwhile, interest in January target Arthur Melo is rising again amid talks of a loan-to-buy deal for the Juventus star.
But Lyon star Paqueta has also been mentioned as an Arsenal target. Gunners recruitment chief Edu recently insisted that his interest in his fellow Brazilian – who he worked with at the national team – only goes as far as “admiration”.
Nevertheless, Edu’s Lyon counterpart Bruno Cheyrou later claimed that the Ligue 1 side are looking to trim their squad.
And he added that he and Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas are “prepared for every eventuality” over Paqueta’s future.
According to CBS Sports journalist Ben Jacobs, the fact that 24-year-old Paqueta “wants a fresh challenge” is “the positive”.
He added that there is subsequently a “window of opportunity for any suitor if they begin to act”. But the arrival of new Lyon owner John Textor will make the “challenge” of agreeing a deal with the French club even harder.
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Speaking to NUFC Matters, Jacobs added: “What complicates that challenge even more is that Jean-Michel Aulas may be saying that he’s willing to sell, but John Textor is the American incoming majority owner at Lyon who doesn’t yet have a say – but will soon.
“And he’s the one that has stated on record that Lyon are going to compete with Paris Saint-Germain, which is a massive claim.
“So I don’t think Textor wants Paqueta to go.”
PSG romped to the Ligue 1 title by 15 points last season. Lyon, though, finished way down in eighth – a further 10 points behind second-placed Marseille.
American businessman Textor believes he can get Lyon back up the table. Indeed, they reached the Champions League semi-finals in 2020, knocking out Juventus and Manchester City in the process.
Midfielder on the fence over future
It seems as though Paqueta is currently on the fence over his future at Lyon and his situation will be one to monitor.
The first reports linking Arsenal with the midfielder claimed that the Gunners were working on personal terms.
Newcastle, in particular, are one of many teams to try to prise Paqueta away. But after sorting out the finances of a deal, personal terms have proved a struggle.
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So, Arsenal will have to first convince Paqueta that the Premier League is right for him.
However, with the new ownership having big ideas for the future, that may become much harder – even harder than before.