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Arsenal are reportedly preparing a formal bid for Lyon midfielder Lucas Paqueta after informing the Brazilian’s entourage of their transfer interest.
The Gunners have bolstered all across the pitch this summer as they look to go one better than last season. While they came close to a top-four Premier League finish and Champions League qualification, they ultimately lost out.
As a result, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has signed a brand new marquee striker in Gabriel Jesus. Matt Turner is the new back-up goalkeeper, while Fabio Vieira is an exciting midfield prospect.
But Arteta wants another, more senior addition, to his midfield. And a host of targets have emerged his and Arsenal technical director Edu’s radar.
Leicester’s Youri Tielemans looked like the nailed-on candidate for Arsenal a few weeks ago. However, links with Lyon’s Brazil international Paqueta have intensified in recent days.
And Goal Brasil reiterates that Arsenal have a strong desire to go after the 24-year-old.
The report claims the Gunners are ‘considering an attack’ on Lyon for their star midfielder. While they have yet to submit a formal bid, they have told the player’s camp to brace themselves.
And the latest report reveals Lyon’s asking price, with the French club wanting €80million (£68million) for Paqueta. Arsenal’s first bid is also tipped to be lower than Lyon’s valuation, as the Gunners look to secure a cheaper deal.
Indeed, Lyon reportedly recognise that they will struggle to sell Paqueta for their full price.
Paqueta had links with a move to the Premier League in January, when Newcastle signed his former Lyon team-mate Bruno Guimaraes.
But after eventually passing on a deal, it looks like Arsenal have taken up the mantle to try and sign Paqueta instead.
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas confirmed last week that “there are proposals” already on the table for Paqueta.
Paqueta could suit Premier League
The midfielder could well be the senior new signing in the engine room that Arsenal boss Arteta wants.
At only 24, he already has 33 Brazil caps and so is at the heart of the team ahead of the World Cup in Qatar.
That means he will be looking to maintain – or better – his top form. A move to the Premier League may unlock more aspects of his game, as could working with Arteta.
Amid the fresh revelations over Paqueta’s price tag, it remains unclear what Arsenal’s first bid comes in as.
Lyon may not accept their full valuation, but they will want to get as close as possible given Paqueta’s importance to the team and the fact that he has three years left on his contract.
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