Newcastle United have made an unsuccessful offer for Lyon’s Lucas Paqueta, according to French outlet Foot Mercato.
The attacking midfielder only joined Lyon in September 2020, making an £18m switch from Serie A giants AC Milan.
His £49,000-per-week contract at the Groupama Stadium runs for another three-and-a-half years, while the 24-year-old has also racked up 28 caps for Brazil, having made his senior debut in September 2018.
The report from Foot Mercato states that ‘leaders’ at Newcastle have identified Paqueta as a target ahead of the January transfer window. They are ‘ready to splurge’ to bring the Brazilian to Tyneside, offering him a lucrative salary of €860,000 (£734,000) per month, which equates to about £184,000 per week.
However, the player’s camp have rebuffed this proposal, making clear that the player would only be willing to leave Lyon if the suitor was a step-up in quality. He is reportedly content at the club, who have qualified for the Europa League round of 16 after winning their group.
Targeting a player of Paqueta’s calibre is an indication of Newcastle’s ambition. He has been directly involved in 11 goals (scoring seven and setting up four) in 21 appearances this season and ranks as Lyon’s highest-performing player according to WhoScored metrics.
It doesn’t look like the Magpies will be able to convince him to swap Europa League football for a Premier League relegation battle at this stage, but maybe the situation will change if their prospects improve.
In other news, Noel Whelan reacts to a significant blow for Newcastle
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