Arsenal and Newcastle United have reportedly been handed a boost in the pursuit of Lucas Paqueta, with Lyon slashing their valuation to €40 million.
According to French outlet Media Foot, Lyon are prepared to sell star midfielder Lucas Paqueta for a bargain €40 million fee as the 24-year-old Brazilian international is inclined to depart from the Groupama Stadium this summer amid interest from Arsenal and Newcastle United.
Formerly of Flamengo, Paqueta earned his big-money European move to Europe by joining Serie A giants AC Milan in January 2019. However, things did not go as planned at San Siro, and the midfielder moved to Lyon in September 2020.
Since then, the Brazilian international has not only managed to resurrect his flailing career, with his stellar record for both club and country speaking for itself. Paqueta has been a standout performer for Lyon over the past two seasons, notching up 21 goals and 13 assists in 77 appearances for the Ligue 1 outfit.
The 24-year-old still has three years left on his contract, so Lyon are not under any great pressure to sell him. But with Paqueta pushing to leave Les Gones, it seems to have twisted the hands of the French outfit, who are now willing to offload their prized midfielder if the right offer is tabled by any suitor.
As per Media Foot, a reasonable fee of around €40 million is said to be enough to tempt Lyon to sell Paqueta this summer. That is a significant drop from the Ligue 1 club’s prior stance of entertaining bids only in the region of €80 million for the Brazilian midfielder this summer.
As such, both Arsenal and Newcastle United have been heavily linked with a move for the Lyon playmaker in the last month, and this update comes as a major boost to their hopes of landing him. Arsenal, for one, are actively looking to bolster their midfield options. Leicester City’s Youri Tielemans has long been tipped for a move to the Emirates.
But a deal for the Belgian international looks to have stalled of late, prompting the Gunners to consider other avenues. Paqueta’s versatility to operate in a host of midfield positions has made him a viable alternative. The report claims Arsenal are yet to lodge a formal bid to sign him, but the €40 million price tag could tempt the Gunners into launching a pursuit.
Newcastle, meanwhile, have already contacted Lyon to find out whether there is any truth in the latest claims. While an attacking midfielder is not a priority for Newcastle this summer, they can do well by singing a flair player in Paqueta, given their long-standing interest in the attacking midfielder, who has previously shown incredible chemistry with Bruno Guimaraes at Lyon.
There is also the added bonus of him playing up front if needed, as he made a half-dozen appearances there for Lyon this past season. It remains to be seen whether there is any substance to the story that Lyon are ready to sell Paqueta for around €40 million. But if true, it would be an attractive proposition for many top clubs across the continent, including Arsenal and Newcastle.