Newcastle United are battling fellow Premier League side Arsenal in the race to sign Lyon midfielder Lucas Paqueta this summer.
What’s the story?
Having already beaten the Gunners to the signing of Bruno Guimaraes in the January transfer window, it appears that Eddie Howe’s side are keen to strike a second blow to their top-flight counterparts.
According to The Chronicle, Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain appear to have pulled out of the race to sign Paqueta given the overall financial package needed, leaving it as a straight two-horse race between Newcastle and Arsenal.
It is added that Magpies head of recruitment Steve Nickson has watched him on multiple occasions now, and that Lyon could reach a tipping point in terms of accepting a fee just like they did with Bruno.
Imagine him and Bruno at Newcastle
When reports initially emerged linking Paqueta with a move to St James’ Park, former Premier League goalkeeper Paddy Kenny talked up the prospect of seeing him link up with his former team-mate Bruno.
The Irishman said: “So they wanted him in January, I don’t see why they wouldn’t be interested again in the summer. He’s clearly a quality player and they have a player who knows him very well.
“To see those two players assisting each other for Brazil is all the proof you need that they are quality players, they are clearly mates who have a good understanding. If he wants to leave Lyon, I’m sure Newcastle will put an offer in and see if they can get him.”
Meanwhile, Brazil manager Tite has previously compared Paqueta to a couple of Brazilian stars, saying: “Lucas thinks about football in the same way as Neymar and Coutinho.
“When we played against El Salvador he had a series of exchanges with Neymar, practically without having seen him before and without playing together. They linked up with their eyes closed.”
It’s the kind of eye-catching, statement-making move which would surely have St James’ Park rocking.