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Manchester City closing in on £85 million-rated midfielder following Arsenal rejection



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Premier League champions Manchester City are moving towards the completion of a deal for West Ham and Brazil midfielder Lucas Paqueta, according to reports.

Interest in the 26-year-old has been retained following last summer, when Manchester City turned towards the South American at a time when they were coming to terms with the long-term injury to Kevin De Bruyne.

However, following complications in negotiations alongside the emergence of gambling allegations and an ongoing investigation into the matter, Manchester City withdrew from all discussions and turned their attentions elsewhere.

A significant investment was ultimately made in the former Wolverhampton Wanderers and Portugal midfielder Matheus Nunes, who has offered glimpses of his exceptional talent in the first seven months of his Etihad Stadium career.

Despite the recruitment of Nunes, City are once again looking towards Lucas Paqueta, and may be on the verge of signing their man in the coming weeks and months, based off the latest developments around the situation.

According to the information of Manchester City insider ‘Tolmie’s Hairdoo’ on X, West Ham star Lucas Paqueta has rejected ‘enquiries’ from Premier League rivals Arsenal about his ongoing situation and possible summer availability in recent weeks.

It is further detailed that Paqueta himself has told friends that he still ‘has his heart on a move’ to Manchester City and playing under Pep Guardiola. It is claimed that the player’s price is set at £85 million, and is the ‘easiest’ deal to complete if he is cleared of gambling allegations.

A later update on the situation from ‘Tolmie’s Hairdoo’ suggested that the route to Paqueta’s signature is now ‘clear’, claiming that a deal can now be deemed as “Welcome to City’ leading to a social media frenzy.

Lucas Paqueta has registered a total of 29 appearances across all competitions so far this season, scoring five goals and providing a further six assists in a stand-out season for one of West Ham’s leading talents.

Paqueta is relatively fresh in his West Ham career, with the London Stadium side having only recruited the player in the summer market of 2022 for a club record fee kept undisclosed at the time. Subsequent reports estimated the deal was worth more than £50 million plus add-ons.