Manchester City’s pursuit of West Ham United midfielder Lucas Paqueta has been called off due to ‘confidential issues’, according to new reports.
The Premier League champions had identified the Brazil international midfielder as a possible option to further strengthen their midfield this summer, and interest had intensified in the last few days following Kevin De Bruyne’s hamstring injury and scheduled surgery.
While West Ham were understood to have demanded a fee in and around the £85 million mark, Manchester City’s reluctance to meet the valuation was counteracted by confidence stemming from the player’s desire to link-up with Pep Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium.
However, it now appears that City may have to look elsewhere for a recruit in midfield this summer, with a flurry of reports on Friday morning suggesting that a deal is now off due to reasons that have not been disclosed.
As first reported by Alan Nixon, it is claimed that Manchester City’s move for Lucas Paqueta is now off, with ‘top insiders’ in all parts of the deal revealing that a transfer will not happen in this window due to ‘confidential issues’.
According to Nixon, Manchester City are now ‘hurriedly’ looking for alternatives to Paqueta this summer as they seek to add ‘flair’ to their midfield. It is further reaffirmed that the reasons behind the collapse are ‘cloaked in secrecy’, but both clubs are now ‘moving on’.
In further reporting from Kaveh Solhekol, it is stated that Manchester City’s move for the West Ham midfielder is ‘on hold’, and while the situation could change, there is currently a “90% chance” that a transfer will not happen.
Alternatives to Lucas Paqueta for Manchester City this summer have rarely been reported, however there have been claims that the club are holding an interest in RB Leipzig’s Spanish attacking midfielder Dani Olmo.
Olmo is fresh off the back of scoring a remarkable hat-trick in the German Super Cup against Bayern Munich and is likely to command a fee similar to the valuation being requested by West Ham for Lucas Paqueta.
Some sources have suggested that the Bundesliga club could look at demanding close to €100 million for Dani Olmo, in a valuation that is more than likely to put off interest from Manchester City at this stage in the window.
Other existing alternatives in attacking midfield for Manchester City this season could include the likes of Phil Foden, James McAtee, or even Julian Alvarez, however questions will be asked about the club’s level of depth especially with concerns of fitness towards the business end of the campaign.
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