Man City ‘determined’ to return for £110m summer target in January amid West Ham ‘suspicions’

Jason Soutar
West Ham midfielder Lucas Paqueta is reportedly attracting interest from Manchester City.
Lucas Paqueta is reportedly attracting interest from Manchester City.

According to reports, Manchester City are not giving up on signing West Ham playmaker Lucas Paqueta as they await the results of his reported gambling investigation.

The Premier League champions had a couple of bids rejected for the Brazilian international before pulling out of the race to sign him and opting to bring in Matheus Nunes from Wolves.

Incidentally, news of City ending their pursuit of the player was shortly followed by reports Paqueta is being investigated by the Football Association for potential betting rule breaches.

His failed move to the Etihad and potential investigation has not hindered his form this season. He has scored four goals and provided one assist in 15 appearances across all competitions.

Nunes, meanwhile, has struggled to settle in at Manchester City, but it is very early days for a player who has joined one of the most difficult teams to settle in to.

Despite the signing of the Portuguese midfielder, it has been reported that the Cityzens are still interested in signing Paqueta, who is reportedly valued at £110million by his club.

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According to Brazilian outlet UOL, Pep Guardiola’s side are refusing to give up as they await the results of his gambling investigation.

City are ‘determined to make an offer to West Ham in the January transfer window’, but only after he has been cleared of the reported charges.

It is added that after the Cityzens’ made a bid, they ‘discovered’ that the 26-year-old was being investigated and then ‘abandoned’ their pursuit.

Guardiola sees Paqueta as the ‘long-term replacement’ for Kevin De Bruyne, who has been out injured with a hamstring problem since limping off in City’s Premier League opening fixture at Burnley in August.

On the ‘suspicions’ of the player, the report adds: ‘The investigation that prevented the Brazilian’s transfer to City this season began last March and wants to find out if the player was given yellow cards on purpose to benefit a network of gamblers in Rio de Janeiro.’

Paqueta scored the only goal of the night when the Hammers beat Olympiacos in the Europa League on Thursday.

After the win, West Ham manager David Moyes said: “We were disappointed to lose our record of 17 unbeaten two weeks ago against Olympiacos, so it’s good to get back on track.

“We’re top of the group, we still have two matches to play but at the moment I think this is the hardest group we’ve had, in our third year in it, and it’s proved to be the case. We’ve done the job tonight. It’s a great result for us.

“Europe has been great for this football club, we’ve had some great nights and long may they continue.”

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