West Ham star slammed for ‘strolling around’ in a ‘mood’ amid £80m Man City links

Will Ford
Lucas Paqueta, West Ham, August 2023
Lucas Paqueta came close to a move to Manchester City in the summer.

West Ham star Lucas Paqueta has been slammed by Jermaine Jenas for “strolling around” against Aston Villa on Sunday.

The Hammers had the chance to go above Unai Emery’s side but lost 4-1 and were completely outplayed at Villa Park.

Jarrod Bowen gave them hope after a Douglas Luiz brace, but goals from Ollie Watkins and Leon Bailey secured what was a comfortable win for the Villans.

On an off day for David Moyes’ side, Jenas was particularly critical of Brazil star Paqueta, who has so often been the standout man for West Ham since his £51m from Lyon in the summer of 2022.

“I thought they were really poor,” Jenas told Match of the Day 2. “Paqueta here, I mean what a player he is and he’s been brilliant for West Ham, but you can’t do this. For me, he just strolled around today. He looked like he was in one of those moods where ‘if you get me the ball, I might do something special.’

“If not, you get that side of me. I just thought from a West Ham point of view they’d kind of got past these moments, but it was a worrying sign.”

An £80m transfer was agreed in principle between West Ham and Man City over the transfer of Paqueta over the summer, but the move fell through once Paqueta became embroiled in a betting investigation by the FA.

The probe related to three incidents in which Paqueta received yellow cards; ‘a larger than usual number of bets were placed in Brazil’ on the playmaker receiving a booking in one instance.

Man City instead opted to sign Matheus Nunes from Wolves for £53m, but according to Football Transfers Pep Guardiola remains a big fan of Paqueta.

The report adds City are expected to ‘make another approach’ for Paqueta once the FA’s investigation has concluded.

The probe is still ongoing, but City hope it will be wrapped up in time to pave the way for a transfer in 2024.

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