Arsenal reportedly see West Ham star Lucas Paqueta as an ‘important piece in the reconstruction of the team’ and are set to battle Newcastle for his signature this summer.
Paqueta only joined West Ham from Lyon in August after they agreed a €42m fee for the Brazil international, but his displays for David Moyes’ side have prompted interest from Premier League rivals, according to Fichajes.
Paqueta has two goals and three assists from 23 appearances in all competitions for the Hammers this season and started all but one game for Brazil at the World Cup in Qatar, scoring against South Korea in the last 16.
The report claims Newcastle have ‘identified Paquetá as one of the key players in reinforcing its squad for next season’, and would be paired with countryman Bruno Guimaraes were he to make the move to the North East.
But Arsenal are also ‘willing to make a financial effort’ to land Paqueta, who is viewed by the Gunners as ‘an important piece in the reconstruction of the team’.
Both clubs are said to be willing to make an offer close to the €70m price tag West Ham are said to have slapped on the 25-year-old, who spent two years with Lyon following his €20m move from AC Milan in September 2020.
The report adds: ‘It is expected that in the coming weeks more information about the negotiations will be known and the future of the Brazilian player can finally be determined.’
Asked back in September why he opted to join West Ham in the summer with other offers on the table, Paqueta said the stadium and fans played a big part in his decision.
“After we played West Ham in the Europa League last season, we all said, as players, what a fantastic stadium it was and how great the fans were and what great energy there was in the place,” he said.
“That’s definitely something that influenced my decision as well. Without a doubt, it’s an incredible club and something that I wanted to experience.
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“It was really that desire that everybody at the club showed in this amazing project they have and the fact they wanted to include me in that really cemented my decision.
“When I arrived here and saw how much confidence everybody and all the fans had in me and how happy they were to see me here, it just makes me want to reward them and pay that back each time I get on the pitch and just to commit myself and devote myself to this club.”
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