Lyon recruitment chief Bruno Cheyrou has admitted that Ligue 1 star Lucas Paqueta could well depart this summer, telling the media that ‘we are prepared for every eventuality’ amid interest from Arsenal and Newcastle United this summer.
Both the Gunners and Eddie Howe’s side have been linked with a move for the Brazilian midfielder, who excelled last campaign despite Lyon’s struggles, netting eight goals and grabbing a further six assists.
And as per CBS sports, despite earlier suggestions that it would take a fee of around 80m euros (£70m) for the Ligue 1 side to part ways with their talismanic figure, Lyon President Jean-Michel Aulas is not thought to be set on holding out for quite as much, and will instead sell for a knockdown sum.
The French club won’t stand in the 24-year-old’s way should that valuation be met, and of course, there will be hope on the side of the interested parties that they could haggle that fee down below the £50m mark.
And, Arsenal transfer director Edu Gaspar admitted that while he liked Paqueta, there was no deal on the horizon.
“I like Paqueta lot, I’ve been a big fan for a long time, since my time with Brazil’s national team,” Edu told TNT Sports. “He’s had a great season, he was considered the best [overseas] player in the French league.”
But as of today, the reality is that there’s not even a conversation to sign him”, he added.”There’s nothing as we’ve many players in that position, that’s it... can’t say more”.
Cheyrou: Everybody has a price
However, speaking ahead of the new season, Lyon’s recruitment chief Cheyrou has claimed that anyone in the squad could yet depart this summer, with the squad currently too large to be considered viable.
“We need to reduce the squad size”, he admitted.
“In terms of departures, we will analyse offers on a case-by-case basis but the economics will come into consideration. We will consider the offers with Jean-Michel Aulas and Vincent Ponsot in order to make the best decisions.”
As a result, both Arsenal and the Magpies could well show interest once more.