Arsenal have learnt how much it would take to lure Lyon midfielder Lucas Paqueta to the Emirates Stadium this summer. Mikel Arteta hopes to ease Martin Odegaard’s creative burden with Paqueta, who wants to leave Lyon for a new challenge ahead of the 2022-23 season.
Odegaard created 77 chances in the Premier League last season, more than any other player and over double third-place Gabriel Martinelli’s total of 34. And after narrowly missing out on a top-four spot to rivals Tottenham Hotspur, Arteta is keen to address the issue to guide Arsenal back to Champions League football.
But the 24-year-old Brazilian won’t come cheap, despite his desire to leave Lyon, as L’Equipe claim the Ligue 1 club are set to demand £51million for his services. After struggling with midfield depth last term, though, Arteta is likely urging technical director Edu to make a deal happen.
The Gunners aren’t alone in their interest. Calciomercato report Newcastle United and Paris Saint-Germain are also eager to recruit Paqueta this summer. Meanwhile, according to football.london, he is also on Tottenham’s radar amid Antonio Conte’s overhaul ahead of his inaugural full season in north London.
Paqueta joined Lyon from AC Milan in the summer of 2019, registering 21 goals and 13 assists in 78 appearances since. And a switch to Arsenal would undoubtedly interest him, given the club’s current Brazilian contingent and Les Gones’ failure to qualify for European football.
However, the Gunners have enjoyed recent woes when trying to sign players from Lyon. They have missed out on Bruno Guimaraes and failed to sign Houssem Aouar in recent times, and Edu will be desperate to avoid disappointment for a third time with Paqueta.
Whether Arsenal will have the financial means to complete a deal for the playmaker remains to be seen. Arteta is understood to have prioritised moves for Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus and Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans, with both players expected to depart their expected clubs.
But Paqueta’s availability presents a tempting chance to add another elite creator to his ranks, and he could be third on the Spaniard’s list of targets. The interest from elsewhere, though, especially from those who boast Champions League status, could be damaging if there is to be a battle for his signature.
Want the latest Premier League news as we publish it on Express Sport? Join our brand new Facebook group by clicking here.