West Ham United ace Lucas Paqueta has reportedly agreed personal terms with perennial Premier League champions Manchester City.
As per Mohamed Bouhafsi, the Brazilian has given his go-ahead to City’s six-year contract proposal, leaving it up to the clubs to define an agreement over a transfer fee.
With the player’s seal of approval in the bag, the Cityzens will proceed with optimism despite seeing their opening bid worth €85 million plus €10m in add-ons rejected by West Ham.
Paqueta’s consent is a game-changer, but the Hammers are holding out for a substantial €110m asking price and want the entire figure upfront without delayed payments.
Man City boss Pep Guardiola has identified the 25-year-old forward as a perfect replacement for Riyad Mahrez, who left the Etihad Stadium for Saudi Pro League club Al-Ahli.
However, the Hammers are poised to milk every penny from the Brazil international’s potential departure as they did in the case of Declan Rice, setting Arsenal back for a British-record transfer fee of £105m.
West Ham parted with a club-record fee of £50m plus bonuses to lure Paqueta away from Lyon last summer, handing him a prominent role in his first season in the Premier League.
They are now looking to double their investment, although it’s still uncertain whether Man City will accept their terms, having already forked out a fortune to sign Josko Gvardiol from RB Leipzig.
City have also bought Mateo Kovacic from Chelsea to replace the departed captain Ilkay Gundogan, taking their summer outlay to over €130m.
Considering the club’s recent problems with Financial Fair Play, it’s no wonder they’re hesitant to meet West Ham’s extravagant demands, although there’s reportedly a way to bring the price down.
West Ham would agree to include Man City’s rising star Cole Palmer as a makeweight in a deal to take Paqueta to Manchester – an idea that’s unlikely to amuse the Etihad chiefs.
It’s more likely that last season’s treble winners will have to raise their offer to make the deal happen.
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