Contract negotiations between Manchester City and Brazil midfielder Lucas Paqueta has come to a halt.
Fabrizio Romano confirmed the pause with talks between the two parties on August 18.
Amid an ongoing Football Association investigation into potential betting breaches, Paqueta’s prospects have cast a shadow over his aspirations to join the champions. Reports from The Guardian surfaced on Friday morning, revealing a cloud of uncertainty around Paquetá’s move, attributed to contractual intricacies in talks. Subsequent revelations unveiled that the FA has initiated a probe into the ex-Lyon midfielder regarding alleged involvement in football gambling.
The Guardian reported that the specific nature of the allegations remains undisclosed, and both West Ham and the FA have chosen not to provide comments. Sources close to the player expressed surprise at the investigation and clarified that Paquetá hasn’t been accused of placing bets.
Should the transfer fall through, it could pose a setback for Pep Guardiola’s ambitions to secure an attacking midfielder tailored to his coaching style, a role that aligns well with Paqueta’s playing approach.
Paqueta emerged as a City target this month, with an initial £70m bid met with refusal. His contract encompasses an £85m release clause that is set to activate next summer, prompting City to prepare a renewed offer after Kevin De Bruyne suffered a hamstring injury that will sideline him for several months.
As the FA inquiry continues, West Ham nervously awaits clarity on potential charges against their record-signing. Club sources indicated to The Guardian that Paquetá, acquired for £51m last summer, remains in contention for Sunday’s home match against Chelsea.