West Ham United

West Ham United

Premier League • England

West Ham receive explosive Saudi interest in Salah alternative who’s wanted immediately for big fee

Lucas Paqueta, West Ham 2023

West Ham midfielder Lucas Paqueta alongside the Saudi Pro League logo

West Ham star Lucas Paqueta has emerged as a top target for a number of Saudi Pro League clubs in January, sources have told TEAMtalk.

Paqueta has been a standout performer for West Ham this season and his performances have brought him onto the radar of several of the big-spending Saudi Pro League sides.

The skilful playmaker has scored five goals and provided five assists in 26 games across all competitions so far this season.

That includes three goals in the Europa League, a better tally than he managed in the Hammers’ Europa Conference League triumph last season.

Manchester City tried to sign Paqueta in the summer, but the move collapsed after it was revealed the Brazilian was being investigated by the Football Association for potential betting rule breaches.

Paqueta only joined West Ham from Lyon in the summer of 2022 for a club record £51m and a much higher fee would be demanded by the Hammers to even consider selling him.

It was reported in the summer than City were preparing a £95million bid, and £85million is also a figure that’s been floated since then.

The price tag would be no issue for the Saudi clubs who are targeting a move for Paqueta as a marquee signing as they know other top targets such as Mohamed Salah and Kevin De Bruyne are unlikely to leave Liverpool and Manchester City respectively in the New Year.

That said, the potential of Salah leaving Liverpool continues to mentioned, with Jermaine Pennant recently stating £100-150million would be hard to turn down.

But it seems more likely any such bid would come in the summer, while Paqueta’s a man that’s wanted right now.

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