The lowdown: New target
Having missed out on Barcelona-bound Raphinha, the Gunners appear to have shifted their attention to the winger’s Brazilian compatriot, Paqueta.
The 24-year-old has emerged as a target for Edu in recent days after previous links to mega-rich Premier League rivals Newcastle United earlier in the summer, as Mikel Arteta looks to add creative reinforcements to the Emirates Stadium squad.
Now, following a fresh update, it appears as though the north London club are in pole position…
The latest: Boards in negotiations
It’s claimed that the enthusiastic attack-minded midfielder has the ‘chance to change clubs’ during the ongoing window and ‘talks are already taking place’ between the club’s boards.
The report also states that the transfer has been ‘approved’ by Arteta and Edu is ‘close’ to the player, who Lyon value at €60million (£50million). However, the north Londoners will attempt to reduce the asking price for the star with ‘undeniable quality’ (football writer Sacha Pisani).
The verdict: Blow the budget
Already an established Brazil international, the Rio de Janeiro-born gem – who is under contract in France until 2025 – is a close stylistic match with such illustrious names as Hakim Ziyech, Marco Reus and Thomas Müller (Fbref).
Predominantly operating as an attacking midfielder, Paqueta scored 11 times and provided seven assists in 43 appearances across all competitions last season, earning an impressive 7.13 Sofascore rating whilst winning 7.3 duels and successfully completing 2.3 dribbles on average per Ligue 1 outing – showcasing outstanding battling qualities to accompany wonderful ball control.
In addition to that recent form, combined with the experience of already making 186 senior career outings in what remains a fledgling career, the Brazilian would be a superb addition to Arteta’s ranks even at the mooted lofty price tag, giving the Spanish manager a selection headache alongside youngsters Martin Odegaard and Emile Smith Rowe.
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