Exclusive: “They like the player” – Man City still interested in £85m-rated ace

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Whether or not Man City go on to win a record-breaking fourth Premier League in a row, Pep Guardiola will be keen to improve his squad during the summer.

The best time to tweak a squad isn’t when it’s on the way down, but when it’s right at the very top of their game.

That’s something Man City appear to have done with consummate ease over the past few seasons.

Whichever players have been moved on or left of their own accord have seamlessly been replaced.

Man City still want Paqueta

That’s testament to the genius of the manager and the backroom staff as getting it right so often isn’t the easiest thing in the world to achieve.

Upsetting dressing room equilibrium can often have disastrous consequences, but Guardiola has managed it with the minimum of fuss and rancour.

As another summer window approaches, the reigning Premier League champions have got their eye on another player who would clearly give the squad something extra.

Lucas Paqueta in action for West Ham.

West Ham’s Lucas Paqueta has been brilliant for the Hammers all season despite missing out on a dream move to City at the 11th hour last summer.

That move collapsed because of a betting investigation into the player, and that will again dictate whether City will buy him before the start of the 2024/25 campaign.

“The Lucas Paqueta story will depend on what happens with the ongoing betting investigation,” Fabrizio Romano said to CaughtOffside for his Daily Briefing.

“Interest from Man City has been there since last summer, they like the player but it will all depend on the betting investigation.

“Paqueta would also be happy and open to joining City.”

It’s believed that the Brazilian has a valuation of £85m, and whilst it’s clear that the East Londoners would be loathe to lose another big name just 12 months after seeing Declan Rice move to Arsenal, such an amount would allow them to invest in other areas of the squad.

With Tim Steidten’s track record shown to be of the highest quality (Kudus/Alvarez etc.), a studious purchase of one or two more quality players could well push the Irons further forward in their own chase for glory.

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