The Lyon star is the latest name to be linked with a move to the red half of north London and Arsenal’s technical director Edu is thought to be desperate to get the deal done sooner rather than later. Mikel Arteta’s men aren’t the only Premier League side interested, with Newcastle United also keeping tabs on Paqueta.
GOAL report that the Gunners have made it clear to the player’s representatives they plan to put a proposal together before this window ends, but they are yet to send any official offer Lyon’s way. The French side are demanding £67million before they permit his exit.
Paqueta has already won over one Arsenal legend in Henry, who went on the record with his admiration for the 24-year-old. Speaking to Amazon Prime Video, via Foot Radio, late last year, the Frenchman said: “It’s early but frankly what he’s doing… we talked about it after his match at the Parc des Princes.”
He continued: “Yes, I like dribbling and blind passes, but what I like is his desire, his activity, his selflessness, his commitment. In general, this is not the case with all Brazilians. A player who is fine is a little harder to replace or he is less at the service of the team when he does not have the ball.
“What impresses me with this player is that he does both with a smile. He defends and attacks with a smile. For me, that’s why we can already speak of one of the best players in the championship.”
Arsenal are thought to harbour hopes that Lyon will lower their asking price, but with three years left to run on Paqueta’s current contract the Ligue 1 outfit are hardly in a position where they need to think about selling at a cut-price fee.
The former Milan midfielder has made 33 appearances for the Brazilian national side and if he were to join the Gunners he would be welcomed by the growing Brazilian contingent at Arsenal.
Arteta’s side contains Gabriel Magalheas, Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus – all of whom have donned the famous yellow shirt of the Selecao at senior level. Brazilian Teenager Marquinhos has also represented his nation at youth level.
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has admitted the club have already received offers from Paqueta this summer. “There are proposals for him [Paqueta]. There are certain players who can feel complete in the project, and others who don’t.
“Economically, we have the means to pursue our ideas and objectives. The coach gave us his opinion and there is also what the players wants to do,” he added.