West Ham star Lucas Paqueta earns first Brazil call-up since FA launched investigation

Lucas Paqueta could feature against England later this month (AFP via Getty Images)
Lucas Paqueta could feature against England later this month (AFP via Getty Images)

West Ham star Lucas Paqueta has been recalled to the Brazil squad for the first time since the FA launched an investigation into potential gambling breaches.

Paqueta has been left out of the last three international breaks, but was on Friday included in a 26-man squad for friendlies against England and Spain later this month.

In August last year, it emerged that the former Lyon man was the subject of an enquiry into suspicious betting patterns related to yellow cards he had received in Premier League matches.

The midfielder is believed to have denied any wrongdoing and has co-operated with the investigation. He was interviewed by the FA last year and handed over his mobile phone records, but the investigation is yet to reach its conclusion.

A similar probe into suspicious betting around a yellow card given to then Arsenal midfielder Grant Xhaka lasted 17 months before the Swiss international was cleared in May last year.

Paqueta saw a proposed move to Manchester City collapse late in last summer’s transfer window as a result of the saga and was swiftly axed from the Brazil squad.

He has missed his country’s first six 2026 World Cup qualifiers, the last three of which have all ended in defeat. Prior to that, however, the 26-year-old had been a key part of the Selecao midfield, starting four of their five games at the 2022 World Cup.

Paqueta has spent much of 2024 so far sidelined with a calf problem but returned to action in West Ham’s 4-2 win over Brentford on Monday night.