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West Ham identify Manchester City makeweight as Lucas Paqueta negotiations intensify



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Cole Palmer could move to West Ham United as part of a deal for Manchester City to sign Hammers midfielder Lucas Paqueta.

Manchester City begin their Premier League title defence away to Burnley on Friday evening, however following the arrival of Josko Gvardiol last week, Pep Guardiola suggested that the Sky Blues were eying further first-team signings.

Both Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez have left the club this summer, and as a result, Manchester City are widely claimed to be considering signing a new midfielder and winger during the remaining weeks of the transfer window.

Lucas Paqueta, who moved to West Ham for a club-record £51 million last summer, has emerged as a potential midfielder target, with the Brazilian midfielder growing ‘unsettled’ at the London Stadium amid interest from the treble-winners.

The 25-year-old is subject to a £70 million verbal offer from Manchester City, with Guardiola’s side ‘actively trying’ to agree a deal for the midfielder.

Paqueta made 41 appearances for the Hammers during the previous campaign and was directly involved in 12 goals for David Moyes’ side last season.

When asked about Manchester City’s rumoured interest in the Brazil international on Thursday, Pep Guardiola replied: “I will not answer about [Lucas] Paqueta; he is a West Ham player.”

West Ham are currently working to conclude a series of first-team signings; with Harry Maguire, James Ward-Prowse and Edson Alvarez all closing in on moves to the London Stadium.

David Moyes has also reportedly identified Manchester City’s Cole Palmer, who opened the scoring at Wembley Stadium on Sunday against Arsenal with a superb strike in the 77th minute.

The 21-year-old has been linked with a potential move away from the Etihad Stadium in search of regular first-team minutes, having started just seven matches for the Sky Blues last season.

The England U21 international could be used as a makeweight during negotiations for Paqueta, according to Simon Collings of the Evening Standard.

West Ham are preparing to ‘push’ for the inclusion of Palmer during talks, with the Hammers interested in both a loan or permanent deal.

Palmer’s deflected free-kick helped England to European Under-21 Championship glory last month, and the 21-year-old has been linked with numerous Premier League clubs during the transfer window.

Brighton and Burnley have previously been mooted, although the unexpected departure of Mahrez to Al-Ahli has potentially caused a rethink at Manchester City.

Speaking prior to Friday’s clash at Turf Moor, Guardiola revealed that Palmer is currently part of Manchester City’s plans for the new campaign.

“Cole [Palmer] is with us. Today he is with us. What is going to happen, I don’t know.

“I understand he wants to be more active than the previous season. But Riyad [Mahrez] has gone so we have one more place there.

“I cannot say anything because, of course, all the decisions need to be made by the club. The club has to decide what the best is. All together, we will do it.”

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