Lucas Paqueta’s dreams of linking up with Pep Guardiola after his summer move to Manchester City failed to materialise.
According to The Sun (print) via Hammers, Lucas Paqueta remains keen to join Manchester City if an opportunity presents itself. The 26-year-old West Ham star failed to join Pep Guardiola’s side amid an investigation into some betting allegations but remains open to linking up with the Catalan manager in the future.
Manchester City wasted no time in expressing an interest in Lucas Paqueta after Declan Rice snubbed their advances. With Pep Guardiola needing midfield reinforcements after the departure of Ilkay Gundogan, the 26-year-old West Ham star emerged as his primary target.
Despite Paqueta agreeing personal terms with Manchester City and talks advancing with West Ham, an investigation into betting allegations stalled a move. The Cityzens cooled their interest and eventually signed Matheus Nunes from Wolves around deadline day.
Manchester City retains an interest in Paqueta and could return in the January window. West Ham will not entertain approaches around then as they consider the 26-year-old Brazilian vital to their plans for the current season.
The report also states an £85 million release clause will become active in Paqueta’s contract next summer. Hence, any interested club must pay that fee to secure the Brazilian midfielder, and the Hammers will certainly not accept anything less.
There were also reports stating West Ham could offer him a bumper new contract in an attempt to ward off suitors, with Newcastle United also queuing up in the background. However, it’s Manchester City who may have the upper hand in the chase for the 26-year-old star.
It. is understood that Paqueta dreams of linking up with Guardiola if an opportunity presents itself. With Manchester City not satisfied with their summer midfield signings Mateo Kovacic or Nunes, they might create space for a player like Paqueta in the squad next summer.
While a winter transfer seems highly unlikely, considering West Ham are fighting on multiple fronts, a summer move might take place. Manchester City, if they are to rekindle their interest, may have the upper hand, considering Paqueta already likes the idea of playing at the Etihad.
Paqueta has one goal and a single assist in eight Premier League games this season. He has become a leader under David Moyes this term and will have a major role to play as the Hammers sit four three points off a top-four place in the table as things stand.