Manchester City could try again for West Ham United midfielder Lucas Paqueta in the January transfer window.
The three-time champions are said to have struck a big deal for the former Lyon man over the summer as they prepare to be without Kevin De Bruyne for the opening months of the season.
However, Paqueta was later the subject of an FA investigation into suspicious betting patterns regarding the frequency of yellow cards, causing The Citizens to temporarily abandon their pursuit of the Brazil international.
However, Paqueta has not been charged with any offense and he has been in good form at the start of the 2023-24 campaign, scoring four goals and setting up another in 15 games across all competitions fight.
FA bets on the 26-year-old remain valid and he remains under contract with the Europa Conference League winners until 2027 with an option to extend for a further 12 months.
If Paqueta is not prosecuted for alleged betting breaches – which he strongly denies – UOL says City will reignite their interest once the window reopens in two months.
If the South American is cleared in January, City are expected to take a new approach mid-season, and Paqueta is apparently awaiting a verdict from the FA after making his statement.
West Ham are said to have rejected a £70m bid from Man City in the summer, but the Irons are said to be willing to sell for £80m after Paqueta agreed personal terms with the team Pep Guardiola’s shadow.
Whether West Ham are prepared to lose Paqueta in January is another question, as the Hammers could challenge for the Europa League, EFL Cup and FA Cup title after Christmas, as well as the in their Premier League.
Regardless, West Ham expect to make a healthy profit on the €42.
6m) paid for the Brazilian’s services in 2022, as he has scored 9 goals and 8 assists in 56 appearances for David Moyes’s side.
City purportedly believe that Paqueta would be the perfect long-term successor to De Bruyne, who sustained a severe hamstring injury against Burnley in the opening weekend of the 2023-24 season and will miss the remainder of the calendar year.
The Citizens were believed to have been planning contract talks with the Belgian, whose current terms expire in the summer of 2025, but those discussions have been placed on ice while he recuperates.
In De Bruyne’s place, Julian Alvarez has been an unexpected success story in the number 10 role with seven goals and five assists in 17 matches, but he is not expected to be a long-term creative solution.
Jeremy Doku has also stepped up to the plate and registered one goal and four assists in last weekend’s 6-1 crushing of Bournemouth, becoming the youngest player to come up with five goal involvements in a single Premier League game.
Guardiola’s side remain top of the Premier League table ahead of Sunday’s meeting with Chelsea, as Tottenham Hotspur’s late capitulation in a 2-1 loss to Wolverhampton Wanderers denied the North London giants the chance to leapfrog the treble winners on Saturday.