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Manchester City identify potential long-term replacement for Kevin De Bruyne in £80 million transfer



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Premier League champions Manchester City reportedly retain their interest in West Ham and Brazil midfielder Lucas Paqueta.

Interest from the Etihad Stadium first emerged during the last summer transfer window, as City Football Academy bosses looked to acclimatise to a first-half of the season without Kevin De Bruyne following the Belgian’s hamstring injury.

However, following complications in negotiations largely due to an ongoing FA investigation into Lucas Paqueta, City were forced to turn to other options in the centre of the park, ultimately securing the signature of Wolves’ Matheus Nunes.

While Nunes has offered a variety of skills to Pep Guardiola and his Manchester City teammates, it appears as though the club would not be opposed to recruiting further in central midfield during the upcoming summer market.

That is according to the information of the Evening Standard’s Nizaar Kinsella, who reports that Manchester City ‘remain keen’ on signing West Ham’s Lucas Paqueta – a player that the reigning Premier League champions were interested in last summer.

It is reported that the Brazilian is seen as a ‘potential long-term replacement’ for Kevin De Bruyne. However, for the time being, Paqueta ‘remains in the dark’ about an ongoing FA investigation into gambling allegations that prevented an Etihad switch in 2023.

With regards to where Guardiola sees Paqueta in his current set-up, the report claims the 26-year-old is viewed as a ‘more attacking option’, and while contracted until 2027 with an option for a further year, it is believed he has an £85 million release clause valid from this summer.

Interest in Paqueta comes at a time when Manchester City supporters are continuing to doubt the long-term commitment of Bernardo Silva to the Etihad Stadium club, with the Portugal international falling out of love with the culture on offer in England.

The former Benfica and AS Monaco man has long been eyeing a Manchester City exit, and identified Barcelona as a potential destination. Unfortunately for the player, the La Liga club did not have the finances available to match City’s valuation.

This summer could be a much different scenario for Bernardo Silva however, with the Portuguese midfielder and his agent including a reported £50 million release clause in his Etihad Stadium contract – a clause that becomes active this summer.