Manchester City may ‘test the resolve of West Ham United’ by lodging a fresh bid for Lucas Paqueta when the transfer window reopens in the coming days, and Sky Sports reporter Dharmesh Sheth has told GIVEMESPORT why Pep Guardiola could succeed in his bid to tempt the Sky Blues’ Premier League rivals into sanctioning the Etihad Stadium move.
Although the reigning Premier League champions were not afraid to splash the cash during the summer – with Josko Gvardiol, Matheus Nunes, Jeremy Doku and Mateo Kovacic being drafted in for a combined total of more than £200million – they will be handed another opportunity to strengthen their squad in January.
Paqueta, who became West Ham’s club-record arrival when he joined in a £51million switch from Ligue 1 side Lyon last year, has been firmly on Guardiola’s radar for a prolonged period of time and the tactician may look to pounce.
Sky Blues eager to make new offer for Paqueta
Manchester City are determined to launch a fresh bid for Paqueta when the transfer window opens for business at the turn of the year, according to Brazilian media outlet UOL, but their decision to head to the negotiating table could come down to whether he has been cleared of alleged gambling breaches.
The report suggests Guardiola has pinpointed the creative midfielder as a long-term successor to Kevin De Bruyne, who has been limited to just 49 minutes of action since the campaign got underway due to injury, and his interest is refusing to go away.
Manchester City backed out of a £80million deal to acquire Paqueta when the FA opened a betting investigation against West Ham’s talisman a matter of days before the summer transfer window slammed shut on September 1, forcing them to turn their attentions elsewhere.
But the Brazil international, who still has three-and-a-half years remaining on his £150,000-per-week contract at the London Stadium, has continued to shine in a Hammers shirt despite the threat of a long-term ban looming if he is found guilty of breaking regulations.
|West Ham United’s top performers in the Premier League this season by average match rating
|Statistics according to WhoScored – Correct as of 27/12/2023
Transfer insider Dean Jones recently told GIVEMESPORT that Paqueta’s consistently high performance levels will have resulted in him remaining in Manchester City’s sights, particularly as Guardiola is continuously on the lookout for playmakers.
The Sky Blues will be confident that they will have no issues attempting to entice the 26-year-old to the Etihad Stadium as it is understood that he had already agreed personal terms over a six-year contract before the summer switch fell through.
Dharmesh Sheth update – Lucas Paqueta
Sheth believes West Ham cashing in on Declan Rice during the summer highlights that the east Londoners are open to selling their leading talents if the price is right, giving Manchester City confidence that they could swoop in for Paqueta.
The Sky Sports reporter has refused to rule out the possibility of the title-chasers returning to the capital with a fresh proposal for the former AC Milan man during the January transfer window as they aim to test their Premier League rivals’ resolve.
When asked whether Paqueta could be among those to leave West Ham next month, Sheth told GIVEMESPORT:
“They spent big in the summer, even though we all know they got in excess of £100million for Declan Rice. They spent that money in a really good way.
“There’s always talk about Lucas Paqueta as well. He almost went in the summer to Manchester City. I just wonder whether Manchester City will look again, and try and test the resolve of West Ham United to try and bring someone like Paqueta to the Etihad Stadium.”
Echeverri on verge of Man City switch
Manchester City have agreed terms on a £21.7million deal to acquire River Plate attacking midfielder Claudio Echeverri, according to The Guardian, but he will spend the next year on loan with his current employers before eventually heading to the Etihad Stadium if the switch is rubber-stamped.
The report suggests Guardiola is on the verge of beating former side Barcelona to the 17-year-old’s signature after he was put on the market following his decision not to sign a contract extension just six appearances into his senior club career.
It is understood that Manchester City have succeeded in finding a compromise with River Plate after holding formal discussions in recent days, but they have also been facing competition from a Premier League rival for Echeverri’s services.
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That is because Chelsea have been eager to land the Argentina under-17 international before sending him on loan to French side Strasbourg in a bid to continue his development and build experience ahead of returning to west London.
But Manchester City appear to have won the race for Echeverri and are on the brink of raiding River Plate for a second time in less than two years, having also lured Julian Alvarez away from Estadio Mas Monumental in a £14million deal.