Lucas Paqueta has quietly impressed during his time as a West Ham United player, and it was only a matter of time before top European clubs made him a transfer priority. In recent days, it would appear that Manchester City headline those hoping to snap up the talented midfield player, but what is the latest of this potential move?
Paqueta, aged 25, was a £51million signing for The Hammers last year, making him their record signing, and after initial taking some time to settle into the Premier League, he would soon showcase his qualities in a big way. The Brazilian also played a vital role in helping West Ham win the UEFA Europa Conference League, where they defeated Fiorentina in the final.
However, things certainly haven't gone swimmingly for West Ham since that memorable night. Declan Rice has moved on to Arsenal, albeit expectedly and for a handsome fee, whilst they have had issues adding to their squad, although Harry Maguire, Scott McTominay and James Ward-Prowse remain big targets of manager David Moyes.
The Guardian has reported that Man City have made an early move for Paqueta in the form of an enquiry, which was understandable dismissed by West Ham, who are not in a rush to sell another key player this summer. City boss Pep Guardiola wants to add another midfielder option to his squad, adding to their recruitment of Mateo Kovačić from Chelsea, who featured in Sunday's Community Shield penalty defeat to Rice's Arsenal.
Lucas Paqueta to Man City: Where are we with this deal?
What we do know is that Man City want to sign Paqueta and that the player himself is also keen on making the switch and playing for Pep. It is understood that he has become unsettled at the London Stadium club and has been considering his options in terms of a move, even after only a year into a five-year contract. Their struggles to replace Rice is one reason for this.
Whilst City have seen an enquiry turned down, they will return with a formal bid to really test West Ham's nerve, which in turn could see Paqueta force a move, whereby he may make himself unavailable for selection, for example. It is a problem Moyes could really do without, but once Man City come calling it can turn the head of a player, such as in this instance.
Paqueta, who is a regularly for the Brazil national team, does have an £85million release clause in his contract, but that cannot be taken advantage of until this time next year, meaning City would have to agree a fee with West Ham should they want him. They are primed to launch a £70million offer, which would give West Ham a profit on what they paid Lyon in the first place. West Ham are not in a rush to sell however, meaning this deal could become stretched out.
At the moment, it remains a case of Man City needing to produce an offer towards West Ham, giving them a decision to make. The player wants the move, and he may do all he can, with advice from his agent, to force through this switch. The league season begins this summer, and it will be interesting to see if Paqueta is in action when West Ham travel to Bournemouth on the opening weekend of the new Premier League campaign.
Paqueta would be a big asset for Man City should he sign, here are some reasons as to why we feel this would be the case.