Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has opened up on the failed Lucas Paqueta deal. The Brazilian midfielder was close to signing for the Premier League champions, but the move collapsed at the last minute.
Speaking to the media before the Premier League game against Newcastle United, Guardiola said, “We wanted Harry Maguire, and we didn’t sign him because we didn’t want to pay the required fee. We wanted Cucurella, and we didn’t pay. We wanted Alexis Sanchez, but we didn’t pay. In the end, we’re going to pay what is fair.”
It remains to be seen who will be the alternatives to Paqueta. The Brazilian midfielder had agreed personal terms with Manchester City, despite only joining West Ham last summer from Lyon. Although West Ham won the UEFA Europa Conference League, Paqueta wanted to play Champions League football.
The 25-year-old has four years left on his deal at West Ham, which allowed the Hammers to ask for a high fee. Manchester City were reportedly ready to lodge a bid of £60-70m to land Paqueta this summer. It is reported that the Brazilian midfielder was also found in a betting controversy, which was substantial in collapsing the deal between the two clubs.
As West Ham have already seen the club-record sale of Declan Rice to Arsenal, they would be happy to see Paqueta stay at the London Stadium for one more season. The Hammers are already being criticized for the lack of transfer activity. Hence, the stay of the 25-year-old could be a blessing in disguise for them as they participate in the Europa League for the second time in their history.