Manchester City eyeing Lucas Paqueta as Bernardo Silva replacement

West Ham star meets up with national team boss as selection dilemma looms

Reports suggest that Manchester City are eyeing West Ham United’s Brazilian midfielder, Lucas Paqueta, as a potential addition to their already illustrious squad if Bernardo Silva departs this summer.

City, who secured the Premier League, UEFA Champions League, and the FA Cup last season, had pursued Paqueta last summer but withdrew their interest following the Football Association’s investigation into potential breaches of betting rules involving the midfielder.

The investigation reportedly revolves around suspicious betting activities related to yellow cards, and it remains an unresolved matter. Throughout the investigation, Paqueta has maintained his innocence, with his representatives expressing confidence that the truth will emerge and the issue will be resolved before the season concludes.

Despite the ongoing investigation, the 26-year-old continues to be held in high regard by Pep Guardiola. According to a report from The Telegraph, he is seen as a potential addition to City’s midfield if interest in Bernardo Silva intensifies.

The report also mentions that Paqueta was previously valued at £80m when he was linked with a move to the Etihad Stadium last season.

The Brazilian international joined West Ham for a fee exceeding £50m, implying that the club could potentially earn a substantial profit if they meet their desired selling price.

Paqueta still has three years left on his existing contract at the London Stadium, with an option to extend it by another year. In the current season, he has featured in 27 matches for West Ham, contributing with five goals and six assists across all competitions.

Manchester City preparing to lose Bernardo Silva?

Meanwhile, Silva, now 29 years old, has two years left on his contract following an extension at the start of the campaign. Despite this, the Portuguese international has attracted interest from various clubs, including Paris Saint-Germain, who are bracing to lose Kylian Mbappe in four months. Additionally, teams in the Saudi Pro League persist in their pursuit of signing Europe’s premier talents.

The exits of attacking talents Cole Palmer and Riyad Mahrez highlighted the significance of keeping Silva at the club as they began this season.

However, Silva has openly stated his intention to eventually return to Benfica during his career. Despite this, he has been a key figure for the Citizens, making 22 appearances in the Premier League this season and contributing six goals along with four assists.

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