West Ham star 'top priority' for Premier League giants Manchester City
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It could be second time lucky for Manchester City who are hoping to swoop in and steal West Ham's Lucas Paqueta away from the London Stadium this summer. According to reports from Fichajes, the Etihad club are constantly looking to add to their squad with Paqueta eyed as a key priority when the June transfer window opens up.
Paqueta, who is valued at €70 million (£60m), has been viewed by the Premier League title holders as a unique talent with Pep Guardiola keen to acquire his services. The Citizens have had their eye on him for over a year and are now planning to finally get their hands on him this summer.
The Spanish boss is reportedly drawn to the 26-year-old forward's consistency and adaptability with Guardiola calling him the perfect fit for his system. Last year, the Etihad club came close to signing the Brazilian international but the transfer was ultimately unsuccessful due to the allegations around potential betting breaches. This year, City are reportedly willing to pay the required €70m to prize Paqueta away from his London home and are set to put in their maximum effort to ensure the deal goes through.
Paqueta joined West Ham from Lyon in 2022 and has quickly become a fan favourite. Born in Rio de Janeiro, the attacking midfielder started his career with Flamengo and in 2018, he was chosen as the Campeonato Carioca's best left-winger, becoming the only player from his club to make the team of the tournament.
Later that year, he signed for AC Milan in a deal reportedly worth around €35m with the Serie A side beating off fierce competition from Paris Saint-Germain. After just one season, Paqueta moved across to Ligue 1, playing two seasons for Lyon and is latter season in the French league was nominated the best foreign player of Ligue 1. Paqueta, who has been capped 42 times at international level, then gained Premier League interest and signed with the Hammers for an undisclosed fee on a five-year contract.
The fee was estimated by the BBC to be more than £50 million with add-ons. He assisted Jarrod Bowen's 90th minute winner in the 2023 UEFA Europa Conference League final and a day later, was named in UEFA's team of the season for the tournament.