Journalist Julien Laurens has said that Manchester City are likely to find an agreement with West Ham United to sign Lucas Paqueta.
After seeing an initial verbal offer of £70m for the midfielder knocked back by the Hammers, the Manchester club reportedly saw another bid worth £87m rejected and have been told they would need to pay £95m to sign him.
Now though, one journalist has shared his thoughts on this particular transfer saga and what he thinks the ultimate outcome will be.
Laurens backs City to reach Paqueta agreement
Speaking in a recent video on the ESPN UK YouTube channel, Laurens had this to say about Paqueta and City’s pursuit of him.
He said: “Lots of money for Paqueta, of course, I mean the second offer around the £85m, £90m was rejected by West Ham.
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“I think they’re going to find an agreement and Paqueta really wants to go to City and you can understand why.
“I think if City sign him, it’s pretty [much] game over for this season. I think he will be an incredible signing for them, he will fit in so well and they will be so strong with him.
“I remember saying it when West Ham signed him, it was an incredible coup from them, I have to be honest here, but West Ham was always just the step up and was just the platform to then go to one of the biggest clubs, especially in England and I think this is actually what happens.
“West Ham haven’t even seen the best of Lucas Paqueta because of the way they played last season which was not really being on him and around him. But City will get an amazing player that Pep can use pretty much everywhere in the midfield I’m sure he can even play higher up the pitch I think.
“Yeah they will have to spend £100m again after [Jack] Grealish, after [Josko] Gvardiol, it’s another £100m player but I think he’s really worth every penny of it.”
After arriving at the London Stadium last summer in a deal worth £51m, the 25-year-old went on to score five goals an deliver seven assists in 39 appearances across the Premier League and the Europa Conference League.
Across his 28 league matches, Paqueta ended the campaign with more successful tackles (53) than any other West Ham player, as well as having the highest rate of goal-creating actions per 90 minutes (0.5).
This shows why the east London club are not making it easy for City to sign the midfielder.
However, with City making two very big offers for the Brazil international, this shows how eager the treble winners are to add Paqueta to Pep Guardiola’s squad.
Moving forward, if the European champions feel that West Ham’s price tag is a fair one, it feels that, as Laurens said, this is a deal that will get completed before the transfer window closes.