Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham face setback in Lucas Paqueta approach

Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham are unlikely to prevail this summer in their hunt for Lucas Paqueta.

According to ESPN Brazil, Lucas Paqueta will remain with Olympique Lyon, despite interest from a host of top clubs across Europe. Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City were among the European giants eager to secure his services for the new season and had contacted the midfielder’s camp.

However, none of these three teams were able to continue talks with Paqueta’s agents about a possible move to England this summer. As a result, the player will return to France to begin his pre-season preparation with Lyon ahead of the 2022/23 season.

Paqueta has been one of the rising stars of Brazilian football in recent years and enjoyed a great spell at Lyon. In just 77 competitive appearances for the club, the playmaker scored 21 goals and 13 assists, making a solid impression with his productivity and opportunity creation in the final third.

Paqueta’s attacking prowess had made him a top target for Arsenal, who have already become a hub for talented Brazilian players, especially after the recent arrest of Gabriel Jesus. With Mikel Arteta wanting a new playmaker to complement the forwards like Jesus, Bukayo Saka and Eddie Nketiah, someone like Paqueta could have been an ideal option, despite their recent addition of Fabio Vieira.

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Tottenham were also interested in the Lyon starlet, as coach Antonio Conte is desperate for a new number ten amid uncertainty over Giovani Lo Celso’s future. The Spurs had targeted Christian Eriksen, but the Dane is reportedly on the verge of sending a shockwave to Manchester United.

It would have made Paqueta an excellent option even for a club like Manchester City. The England champions recently landed the services of Kalvin Phillips, but the further addition of Paqueta could help Pep Guardiola bring some more depth to the creative department.

The 24-year-old could ideally serve as a long-term replacement for Bernardo Silva, who has long been flirting with a move to Barcelona. A transfer for Paqueta will have to wait, however, as the playmaker is reportedly keen to stay with Lyon and continue his development in Ligue 1.

The former AC Milan star has settled in well in his life in France and believes a lengthy stay in Lyon could help him improve his chances of becoming a pivotal player for Brazil in the upcoming FIFA World Cup. So despite all three Premier League clubs having initial talks with Paqueta’s camp, nothing has come of it.

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