Newcastle United could be set to make a swoop for Lyon midfielder Lucas Paqueta, according to the latest reports.
What’s the word?
According to journalist Graeme Bailey, the Magpies are readying a move for the Brazil international – as well as Marseille gem Bamba Dieng – having previously been linked with a move for the 24-year-old earlier this summer, as well as in the winter window.
Writing on Twitter about that interest in the 33-cap playmaker, the transfer insider wrote: “Newcastle are ready to push ahead with moves for Marseille’s Bamba Dieng and Lyon’s Lucas Paqueta. The prices for both players fit well into Newcastle’s budget and they are have both been on the club’s radar since the turn of the year.”
In his attached piece for 90min, Bailey states that the Tynesiders had reportedly been put off by the potential £50m asking price back in January, although the Ligue 1 outfit could well now be willing to sanction a departure for around £33m, plus add-ons.
As the report also alluded too, Paqueta’s former teammate and friend Bruno Gumairaes has not hidden his desire to see his compatriot join him at St James’ Park, albeit with fellow Premier League side Arsenal also in the running for his signature, as per the report.
Such an addition would be another notable coup for both PIF and manager Eddie Howe, with the former AC Milan gem an undoubtedly quality addition who can provide a real creative flair to the current side.
The £49k-per-week sensation demonstrated that talent last term as he netted ten goals and provided seven assists in 42 games in all competitions, with that record far superior to any member of the Magpies squad, as only Allan Saint-Maximin reached double figures for goals and assists in the 2021/22 campaign – providing ten goal contributions in total.
Those in the northeast will also be intrigued to know of the £31.5m-rated man’s apparent likeness to that of his fellow Brazilian and Newcastle’s resurgent hero Joelinton, with the club’s number seven having enjoyed a remarkable turnaround from expensive flop to a key figure in Howe’s side.
The 25-year-old has become something of a force of nature in the centre of the park, notably ranking in the top 13% for progressive passes received and the top 20% for dribbles completed among those in his position across Europe’s top five leagues, showcasing his forward-thinking approach.
Paqueta – who has previously labelled himself a “warrior” – also ranks in the top 7% and the top 18% for the same two metrics, albeit among attacking midfielders, with the 6 foot 1 genius also having that knack for driving his side up the pitch.
The thought of having another Joelinton-esque figure in the side would seemingly be a hugely exciting one for both the club and supporters, with the hope being now that Newcastle can win the race to pluck him from France.