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“I identify with them” – Lucas Paqueta lauds Manchester City duo amid £70 million transfer links



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West Ham midfielder Lucas Paqueta has revealed his admiration for two Manchester City players amid rife speculation surrounding a potential move to the Etihad Stadium.

The 25-year-old has emerged as a transfer target of Manchester City’s, as Pep Guardiola considers signing a new midfielder and winger ahead of the start of the new season, following the exits of both Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez.

Paqueta moved to the London Stadium for a club-record £51 million from Lyon last summer, and made 41 appearances for the Hammers during the previous campaign.

Manchester City are widely reported be eying a £70 million bid for the Brazilian, although West Ham are currently reluctant to sell the midfielder, having already lost former club captain Declan Rice to Arsenal.

Paqueta, who has an £85 million release clause which becomes active next summer, is claimed to be willing to push for a transfer to the Etihad Stadium after becoming ‘unsettled’ at West Ham.

The midfielder was directly involved in 12 goals for David Moyes’ side last season, and helped West Ham to UEFA Europa Conference League glory in Prague.

Before moving to the Premier League, Paqueta scored 11 goals and registered seven assists for Lyon in France, during the 2021/22 campaign.

Pep Guardiola is a ‘fan’ of the 25-year-old, and Paqueta himself has recently revealed his admiration for Manchester City midfielder pair Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva.

“Bernardo Silva and [Kevin] De Bruyne. For the way they understand the game, intelligence in passes, knowing when to speed up and hold back, the ease of finding passes. I identify with them,” the midfielder told Betway Brasil.

De Bruyne and Silva both helped the Blues to a famous treble last season, scoring crucial goals against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League semi-final.

The duo scored 17 goals combined last season, and have become integral to Pep Guardiola and Manchester City in recent years.

Silva is set to remain at the Etihad Stadium for the upcoming campaign and could even sign a new contract, despite Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona both attempting to sign the 28-year-old.

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