Manchester City attempts to sign Lucas Paqueta are reportedly ‘on hold’ with transfer insider Fabrizio Romano suggesting the move is ‘on the verge of collapsing’.
City have made just two additions to their squad so far this summer. That they won the treble last season obviously suggests they already have a strong squad, but want to make small improvements to stay at the top.
Those improvements were the additions of Mateo Kovacic and Josko Gvardiol. The former was identified as a replacement for former captain Ilkay Gundogan, who’s left for Barcelona.
Gvardiol became the second most-expensive defender ever when he was signed from RB Leipzig. As such, City are clearly hopeful both signings are going to add something to the side.
As well as Gundogan, they’ve also lost Riyad Mahrez. Both of those players were particularly influential assets over the past few seasons, and replacing their output will be tough, but something City want to do to maintain a strong position.
Pep Guardiola identified West Ham star Paqueta as a man who could do so. City reportedly bid £70million for the Brazilian at the beginning of August.
It was suggested that had been turned down, and that the Hammers wanted at least £95million. David Moyes confirmed that offer, but suggested it was ‘nowhere near’ his club’s valuation of the star.
In any case, City were said to be willing to keep trying in order to land the star.
City move for Paqueta on verge of collapse
Now, things look quite different, with multiple sources suggesting the Citizens are nearing the end of their pursuit. Sky Sports states the deal is ‘on hold’.
While they suggest the situation ‘could change with agents not giving up on trying to make the deal happen’, one source is said to have told the outlet there is a ’90 per cent chance the deal is off’.
Transfer insider Romano reiterates those claims, and his report does not suggest any confidence in reviving things.
Indeed, he also reports negotiations are ‘currently off’. He backs that up by simply stating that the deal is ‘on the verge of collapsing’.
City not willing to go above £60million
It would seem the reason for that is the two sides being apart in their valuations.
Sky Sports‘ report actually states City did not make a ‘formal bid’, despite Moyes having previously stated there was one.
In any case, it’s said they were ‘prepared to pay £60million’ for Paqueta. With the Hammers apparently holding out for £95million, it’s not a surprise no agreement could be reached.
Having signed just two players this summer, City have already spent north of £100million. Nearly doubling their outlay to bring in one player seems to be something they’re not willing to do.
While they’re not shy to splash cash in some situations, it makes sense why they didn’t want to on this occasion.