Arsenal receive Paqueta boost from Lyon
Arsenal's hopes of signing Lyon midfielder Lucas Paqueta this summer have received a slight boost with reports that the Brazilian's current club have lined up a replacement should he leave this transfer window.
Paqueta, 24, has been on Arsenal's radar for a while, and despite signing Fabio Vieira to complement both Martin Odegaard and Emile Smith Rowe, the Gunners are still keen on adding the Brazil international.
In July, Goal reported that Arsenal had initiated contact with Paqueta's representatives, with a move deemed a possibility, although the price was a sticking point. According to the report, Lyon are looking for €80 million in order to sell their star man this summer.
The French giants sold Bruno Guimaraes to Newcastle in January, but are keen to keep his compatriot Paqueta, despite re-signing Corentin Tolisso from Bayern Munich on a free transfer.
However, while Lyon are hopeful of retaining Paqueta's services for the 2022-23 season, they are aware of the interest in him. As a result, they have reportedly sounded out 18-year-old Flamengo star Victor Hugo as Paqueta's replacement should the Brazilian leave this summer, according to Filipe Frossard Papini.
Hugo signed a new deal at Flamengo in July 2022, meaning his contract at the club now doesn't expire until 2027. However, he is a target for Lyon if Paqueta moves on.
Will Paqueta leave Lyon?
It's still up in the air whether Paqueta remains at the Ligue 1 side, but the fact they've sounded out a replacement is encouraging news for Arsenal.
It may simply be an emergency plan, but if Lyon are looking at a contingency plan in case he leaves, it must signal there's at least a small chance he leaves, and with Arsenal firmly in the race for his signature, the Gunners will be hopeful of landing one of Ligue 1's best players.