Manchester City’s pursuit of Lucas Paqueta has been thrown into chaos, amid revelations of an ongoing FA investigation into the West Ham midfielder.
The 25-year-old, who had been subject to a £70 million verbal offer from Manchester City, had been heavily linked with a potential move to the Etihad Stadium just one year after signing for West Ham.
Paqueta moved to the London Stadium for a club-record £51 million last summer, and as well helping the Hammers to a memorable UEFA Europa Conference League success, was directly involved in 12 goals in 41 appearances for David Moyes’ side.
Manchester City accelerated interest in the Brazilian after discovering that Kevin De Bruyne faced four months on the sidelines, with the 32-year-old set to undergo surgery on a recurring hamstring injury in Antwerp.
Lucas Paqueta and Jeremy Doku had both been linked with late moves to the Etihad Stadium, as Pep Guardiola deals with an emerging injury crisis and the departures of both Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez earlier on in the summer.
Reports on Friday morning however revealed that Manchester City’s pursuit of Paqueta was stalling, with the proposed deal collapsing due to a ‘confidential issue.’
The Daily Mail have now exclusively revealed that the 25-year-old is currently subject to an FA investigation for potential betting breaches, throwing any move to the Etihad Stadium into chaos.
Specific details relating to the investigation are yet to be disclosed, however West Ham are now ‘nervously’ waiting to see if the midfielder is charged by the authorities.
According to the information of Sky Sports’ Kaveh Solhekol, Paqueta himself has been left ‘surprised and shocked’ by the emergence of an FA investigation, understood to be related to bets placed in Brazil and not by the player himself.
Regarding a potential deal involving Manchester City, Solhekol reports that City had almost agreed an £80 million deal for the Brazilian midfielder, and a move could still happen if the ongoing issue is ‘cleared up quickly’.
However, this is contradicted by TNT Sports’ Fred Caldeira and Vitor Sergio in Brazil, who report that Lucas Paqueta’s representatives themselves have confirmed the end of negotiations with Manchester City directly linked to the ongoing investigation.
The Hammers are due to play Chelsea at the London Stadium on Sunday in the Premier League, meanwhile Manchester City are understood to be ‘scouring the market’ for alternate central midfield targets.
Brentford and England striker Ivan Toney was recently fined £50,000 and handed an eight-month ban after being charged with 232 betting breaches.
The 27-year-old admitted the charges and will be unable to play for club or country until January 16th 2024.
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