Man City lead negotiations for Lucas Paqueta with Lyon chief chasing club-record fee
Manchester City are understood to be leading Tottenham in the chase to sign Brazilian midfielder Lucas Paqueta this summer, claims a report.
The Lyon star seems almost certain to leave the Ligue 1 outfit with outspoken president Michel Aulas eyeing a club-record sale. That would mean a fee in excess of the €60m that Spurs paid for Tanguy Ndombele in July 2019.
According to L’Equipe, Aulas is “dreaming” of smashing that sale price for 24-year-old Paqueta. There has been no formal offer for the player, but the report suggests contact has been established with three Premier League clubs.
Arsenal and Newcastle are also interested in a deal for the former AC Milan star.
Gunners recruitment chief Edu recently insisted that his interest in his fellow Brazilian only goes as far as “admiration”. But there are definite admiring glances coming from north London.
But Arsenal’s interest may have hit a roadblock due to the player’s preference to move elsewhere. The report claims Paqueta is not convinced by Mikel Arteta’s project. And it’s a similar story regarding Newcastle, despite the lure of his former team-mate Bruno Guimaraes.
Newcastle agreed a package of £33.3m, plus around £6.5m in add-ons with Lyon for Guimaraes in January. But Paqueta does not seem keen on a move to Tyneside.
Paqueta deal could depend on Silva
Paqueta though has asked to leave Lyon earlier this summer with no European football for Les Gones. Aulas was planning on rolling out a bumper new deal for the player, but the player’s camp have refused to enter into contract talks.
Tottenham made a firm move to sign the player in January. It’s understood Spurs had an offer worth over €40m rejected by Lyon. Now though City have overtaken Spurs, who remain a credible option for the player.
Man City officials are understood to have explored the possibility of a transfer for Paqueta.
There interest may well depend on the future of Bernardo Silva. The Portugal star has been linked with a move to Barcelona and he was understood to be a firm target for Barca last summer.
Sport have claimed that Silva has told his agent he wants to make the move to Catalonia. The near £100m price tag may well deter Barca though. But if Barca do come calling then City look like having a ready-made replacement.