Manchester City have reportedly made their mind up as to whether they will pursue a deal for Lucas Paqueta following the conclusion of his gambling investigation.
Transfer-focussed officials from within the Etihad Stadium identified the former Olympique Lyonnais man as their go-to midfield target during the closing weeks of the most recent summer transfer window, only for movement to collapse at the final hurdle.
It emerged during the final days of the summer transfer market that Lucas Paqueta was at the centre of an FA and FIFA investigation into suspicious betting patterns, and as such Manchester City retracted all attempts to sign the player.
Now however, it has emerged that the Treble winners of last season could reignite their interest in the coming weeks and months ahead, having reportedly made their mind up around the player and his ongoing investigation.
That is according to the information of Brazilian news outlet UOL, as translated and relayed by Sport Witness, who claim that Manchester City are watching the ongoing investigation over Lucas Paqueta’s betting accusations and are waiting for a conclusion on the case.
It is claimed that should the West Ham and Brazil international be found innocent of the accusations, then the Premier League champions are ‘decided’ to make a new offer for the midfielder in the upcoming January transfer window.
Pep Guardiola rates the player so highly that he reportedly sees Lucas Paqueta as a potential long-term replacement for Kevin De Bruyne – who is continuing his recovery from surgery on a reoccurring hamstring problem.
Manchester City ultimately refocussed their attentions during the closing stages of the recent summer market, successfully pursuing Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Portuguese central midfielder as a way of reducing the impact of Kevin De Bruyne’s long-term absence.
With Kalvin Phillips highly likely to go in search of more consistent first-team football during the January market himself, that could allow for Txiki Begiristain and his Manchester City colleagues to bring in a new name into the centre of the park.
Whether or not that name is Lucas Paqueta remains to be seen, and very much relies on the Brazilian’s betting investigation falling in the favour of West Ham and Manchester City when it comes to on-the-field availability.
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