REVEALED: Man City had £85m transfer agreed for Brazil star

Suraj Radia
Suraj Radia
  • 21 Aug 2023 17:56 BST
  • 3 min read
Pep Guardiola, Man City, 2022/23
© ProShots

Manchester City were understood to have a deal agreed for Lucas Paqueta before the West Ham star’s future was thrown into uncertainty over a potential breach of betting rules by the FA.

Paqueta was targeted by Pep Guardiola as a replacement for Riyad Mahrez, who left for Saudi Arabian side Al-Ahli earlier in the window, and City were deep in negotiations with West Ham over a deal.

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The Daily Mail claim that ‘a deal in-principle’ of £85 million had been agreed before the FA informed West Ham that Paqueta would be investigated over suspicious betting patterns, prompting the transfer to collapse.

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Paqueta was due to be interviewed by the FA this week over the concerns but West Ham were granted a postponement as they look to do their own due diligence about the probe.

The 25-year-old was keen on a move to the Etihad and featured for West Ham in their win over Chelsea on Sunday, however he was omitted from Brazil’s latest squad due to the allegations.

No new date has been set for the interview, meaning the doubts surrounding Paqueta could continue into the season, with West Ham having only learned of the investigation late last week.

City make Doku move after setbacks

City will now be forced to look elsewhere as they look to bolster their squad, which has seen injuries hit a number of key players such as Bernardo Silva, Kevin de Bruyne and John Stones.

While Silva is due back imminently, Stones has been ruled out until the international break next month, while De Bruyne could miss the rest of the calendar year with his injury.

The collapse of Paqueta’s transfer has seen City accelerate with a move for Jeremy Doku, with an agreement believed to have been struck with Rennes for a fee in excess of £50m.

The 21-year-old has established himself as one of the brightest young prospects in Europe and City were keen to make a move even before Paqueta’s situation developed, with a deal now expected to be concluded.

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