Atletico Madrid rival Arsenal, PSG in Lucas Paqueta pursuit

Atletico Madrid are reportedly ready to rival Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain in the race to sign Lyon midfielder Lucas Paqueta.

According to reports in Calciomercato, Lucas Paqueta’s performances over the past couple of seasons have caught the eyes of Arsenal, Atletico Madrid and PSG, who are all ready to make a summer move for the Brazilian.

A Flamengo youth product, Paqueta moved to Milan in a €38 million deal in January 2019. But he could not make an impression. The Brazilian midfielder joined Lyon a season-and-a-half later, in the summer of 2020, and has been in fine form since.

In his first full season with the club, Paqueta scored ten and assisted six goals. He has almost eclipsed his tally from last season in the 2021/22 campaign, scoring eight goals and providing five assists across competitions. The 24-year-old’s performances for Brazil have also been reassuring, and he has grown into a vital part of Tite’s side. In 29 appearances for the Selecao, Paqueta has scored six goals.

An attacking midfielder by trade, Paqueta has shown that he is adept at playing up front and on the right-wing. He has attracted interest from some of the biggest clubs in Europe with Arsenal, Atletico and PSG all set to fight it out for his signature.

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Arsenal are in the market for reinforcements in the attacking midfield region to provide cover and competition for Martin Odegaard. Paqueta’s ability to play in other positions in the final third and middle third of the pitch would only add to the appeal as he would provide tactical flexibility for manager Mikel Arteta.

As for PSG, they could be preparing for the departure of players such as Angel Di Maria and Julian Draxler in the summer. Paqueta, with his proven pedigree in Ligue 1 and versatile nature, could be seen as a replacement to add more quality and depth to the roster.

Atletico Madrid are the latest entrants in the race for the Brazilian. A hard-working individual like the 24-year-old former Lyon man can be a good fit into Diego Simeone’s side and could be seen as an upgrade over someone like Angel Correa in the squad.

The 24-year-old only joined Lyon in 2020 and will have three years left on his contract after the ongoing season. As per Transfermarkt, his current market value is €35 million. But, it is highly unlikely that Lyon will sell him for that amount.

Paqueta was also linked with a move to Newcastle United in the January transfer window, but a move did not materialize. He is now all set to be a part of a transfer battle between three of the biggest European clubs. Atletico, of all, seem to be the most favourable destination for the Brazilian with both Arsenal and PSG seemingly in need to improve in other areas much more importantly.

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