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“Out of respect for them” – Midfielder responds to transfer links as Manchester City and £85 million deal mooted



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West Ham and Brazil midfielder Lucas Paqueta has responded to questions surrounding potential upcoming summer transfer interest from Manchester City.

The Premier League champions showed an intense level of interest in the playmaker during the final weeks of the last summer transfer window, with club officials looking to make up for the loss of Ilkay Gundogan to Barcelona and Kevin De Bruyne’s long-term injury.

However, hopes of an £85 million move for the player were squandered following the emergence of an ongoing Football Association investigation into gambling allegations concerning the player, sparking an immediate withdrawal from negotiations for City.

While there does not appear to be an imminent conclusion to the investigation into Paqueta, Manchester City remain interested in the player’s signature and some sources have explained that the club are willing to wait in order to get their man in the coming weeks and months.

Speaking during a recent press conference while on international duty with Brazil, Lucas Paqueta refused to entertain questions on Manchester City transfer links, while insisting that he has his total focus placed on the remainder of the season at West Ham United.

“I have a lot of respect for my club, which is West Ham. I’ve been having a very good season and that has helped me a lot in my evolution in the Premier League,” Paqueta explained, as translated and relayed by Sport Witness.

“So I think that out of respect for them I have to stay focused on my duty at West Ham and keep working.”

Much of Manchester City’s intent on signing Paqueta appears to be riding on the future of Bernardo Silva, with questions marks still lingering over the future of the Portugal international following successive summers of exit rumours.

The former AS Monaco playmaker has long been eyeing a move closer to cultures similar to that of his native Portugal, with a move to FC Barcelona long mooted but hindered by the La Liga giants’ inability to finance a deal at Manchester City’s request.

Bernardo Silva penned a fresh extension to his Manchester City contract just last summer, however there is an understanding in various quarters that a release clause was installed into the agreement.