£110m Man City target being ‘investigated’ for ‘betting breaches’ as West Ham talks ‘collapse’

Jason Soutar
Lucas Paqueta with his West Ham teammates during a pre-match warm-up.
Lucas Paqueta with his West Ham teammates during a pre-match warm-up.

Manchester City-linked West Ham midfielder Lucas Paqueta is reportedly being ‘investigated’ by the Football Association for ‘potential betting breaches’.

It was reported on Friday morning that City’s pursuit of the Brazilian international is ’90 per cent off’.

The European champions and West Ham had been in talks for weeks with the latter slapping a monstrous £110million asking price on the player.

There appeared to be optimism an agreement would be struck between the two Premier League clubs, especially after Kevin de Bruyne suffered a long-term hamstring injury during City’s Premier League opener against Burnley.

And it now makes a lot of sense why talks broke down with some reports earlier on Friday saying the deal is off due to a ‘confidential’ reason.

According to the Daily Mail, Paqueta ‘is the subject of an FA investigation over allegations of gambling on football’.

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The outlet does not know the ‘specifics’ with West Ham ‘fearing’ the player will be ‘charged’.

This comes months after Brentford striker Ivan Toney was banned from all football activity for eight months after admitting 232 breaches of the FA’s betting rules.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was asked about the club’s pursuit of Paqueta during a pre-match press conference on Friday morning.

“Last season when Gundo [Ilkay Gundogan] stayed, Kevin [De Bruyne] got injured or we just had to make adjustment because people know you and people have to find the solutions for something you have done. I’m pretty sure you have to do something differently. Right now, I don’t know.”

He added: “Kevin is a really, really important player. We haven’t lost him for one or two weeks, we’ve lost him for four or five months. He’s 32 years old, for the team he has to be very physical because his actions are so decisive.”

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