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Manchester City preparing to trigger £85 million release clause of player subject to timely condition



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Manchester City will reportedly trigger the release clause of West Ham and Brazil star Lucas Paqueta subject to a single condition.

The 26-year-old could finally complete a transfer to the Etihad Stadium this summer after a prospective £80 million move to Manchester City dramatically collapsed last August, following a bombshell FIFA and FA investigation into the West Ham midfielder.

It emerged during the final days of the 2023 summer transfer window that the Brazilian was at the centre of a major investigation into suspicious betting patterns, with the outcome of the investigation expected to be published imminently.

Paqueta has been available for West Ham throughout the campaign amid the ongoing investigation, with the Brazilian directly involved in 11 goals across the Premier League, UEFA Europa League and Emirates FA Cup so far this season.

The midfielder has been sidelined due to a calf injury for a number of weeks, with the absence of Paqueta hugely impacting David Moyes’s side, as the Hammers haven’t won a game since late December.

Paqueta, who moved to West Ham for a club-record fee in 2022, has an £85 million release clause that becomes active next summer, leaving the east London club at risk of losing a major midfielder for the second successive year.

Manchester City attempted to sign former West Ham captain Declan Rice last year, however the Englishman completed a £105 million move to Arsenal.

City and West Ham could be set to conduct transfer business this summer however, with the Sky Blues willing to reignite their interest in signing Paqueta, should the Brazilian be cleared by an investigation.

According to the information of Manchester City insider ‘Tolmie’s Hairdoo’ on X, the 26-year-old remains a ‘primary target’ ahead of the new campaign and that City will ‘match’ the £85 million release clause permitting the midfielder has been acquitted by mid-July.

Guardiola’s side have also been linked with Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich and Wolves’ versatile forward Pedro Neto.

Kalvin Phillips’ future could also impact Manchester City’s plans to sign Paqueta, with the England midfielder currently on loan at the London Stadium for the remainder of the campaign after completing a short-term switch in January.

Phillips, who was sent off against Nottingham Forest last weekend for the Hammers, isn’t obligated to complete a permanent move to east London.