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Lucas Paqueta pre-match Pep Guardiola gesture reignites Manchester City transfer links



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Football supporters have spotted a notable pre-match gesture by West Ham’s Lucas Paqueta ahead of Saturday’s clash against Manchester City at the London Stadium.

The Brazilian started for West Ham during their 3-1 defeat to Manchester City in the Premier League on Saturday, as Pep Guardiola’s side extended their winning start to the season, with a fifth consecutive victory.

Manchester City returned to the top of table with the win, coming from behind in east London, after James Ward-Prowse opened the scoring at the London Stadium with a diving header on the counter-attack.

Summer signing Jeremy Doku starred against the Hammers, scoring the equalising goal with a superb solo effort minutes into the second-half.

Late goals from Bernardo Silva and Erling Haaland steered Manchester City to their latest victory, however it was a pre-match gesture from Lucas Paqueta that led to a number of questions from supporters.

The 26-year-old had looked set to swap the London Stadium for the Etihad Stadium during the remaining weeks of the summer transfer window, after Manchester City identified the midfielder as a potential replacement for the injured Kevin De Bruyne.

Manchester City and West Ham were claimed to have agreed an £80 million deal in principle, however a bombshell FA and FIFA investigation related to a number of bets, scuppered any potential deal.

Paqueta moved to the London Stadium for a club-record £51 million in 2022, and was directly involved in 12 goals in 41 appearances for David Moyes’ side.

Manchester City could potentially return for the midfielder in the January transfer window, but completed the signing of Matheus Nunes from Wolves on Deadline Day for €62 million.

Prior to kick-off at the London Stadium, Paqueta was pictured going over to the Manchester City dugout to shake hands with both Pep Guardiola and Juanma Lillo.

Saturday’s victory was Guardiola’s return to the Manchester City bench, after missing matches against both Sheffield United and Fulham due to undergoing an emergency back operation in Barcelona.