Journalist David Ornstein has shared some details regarding Manchester City’s transfer pursuit of Lucas Paqueta.
Earlier in the summer transfer window, the Citizens were heavily linked with a move for the West Ham United midfielder.
After seeing a £70m bid for the Brazilian rejected by the east London club, City walked away from potentially signing the player in an £80m deal due to an FA investigation into possible betting breaches being opened on the midfielder.
With the summer window now set to close this evening, one journalist has shared some behind-the-scenes details on this particular transfer saga.
Ornstein sheds light on City’s chase for Paqueta
Speaking in a recent edition of The Athletic Football Podcast, Ornstein had this to say on the matter.
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He said: “They went in for Lucas Paqueta at West Ham United, they were pretty excited about getting him in.
“I think the deal, which at one point seemed quite distant because he had an £85m release clause that would kick in in the summer of 2024 and West Ham saying ‘well, why would we sell for anything less than that now? We want something much higher.’
“And City, we know they stick to their valuations, they weren’t prepared to go that high but suddenly it gathered momentum to the point where, okay he wants to go, if West Ham get the fee they deem respectable, let’s have it.
“As it happened, I think an agreement was very close and then it was revealed he was facing an investigation into alleged betting breaches by the football association, let’s see what happens from here on in, but immediately that kiboshed his potential move to Manchester City.”
Bearing in mind how City lost Kevin De Bruyne to a long-term hamstring injury at the start of the season, this makes it easy to see why they wanted to secure a deal for Paqueta, even if it meant having to pay a significantly high transfer fee for him.
In addition to that, the fact that the Brazil international scored five goals and delivered seven assists in 39 appearances across the Premier League and Europa Conference League in his debut season at West Ham, this makes it easy to see why the Citizens were excited to potentially add the midfielder to their squad.
With the Blues now having signed Matheus Nunes from Wolves in a deal worth £53m after walking away from Paqueta, they’ll be hoping that he can do a similar job to what they were hoping the Brazilian may have been able to do for them.