Arsenal 'handed boost' in Lucas Paqueta pursuit

Arsenal ‘are handed a boost’ in their pursuit of Lucas Paqueta as Lyon chief admits the club needs to ‘reduce their squad size’, with the French side readied for ‘every eventuality’ this summer

  • Arsenal are reported to be chasing the Lyon midfielder this summer window
  • Lyon’s head of recruitment says the club needs to reduce the squad size
  • Lucas Paqueta, a Brazilian attacking midfielder, is a player that could depart 

Arsenal have been handed a boost in their reported pursuit of Lyon attacking midfielder Lucas Paqueta after a senior club figure admitted the French side needed to reduce their squad size this summer. 

The north London club, led by Edu and Mikel Arteta, have reportedly identified Paqueta, 24, as a target this summer as they look to build upon some promising business.

Speaking at a press conference after the club’s 2-0 pre-season win over Feyenoord, Lyon’s head of recruitment Bruno Cheyrou dropped the strongest hint yet that Paqueta, a reported target for a number of European clubs, could leave this summer.   

Lucas Paqueta (pictured) has reportedly been identified as a target by Arsenal this summer

‘We need to reduce the squad size,’ Cheyrou said. ‘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. I am here to ensure the best team possible, but there are other things to take into account as well.’ 

Cheyrou was then asked specifically about Paqueta, a question to which he responded: ‘We are prepared for every eventuality.’

Paqueta impressed for Lyon in Ligue 1 last term, scoring eight goals and registering a further six assists. 

The Brazilian attacking midfielder was one of Lyon’s best performers last term, scoring eight goals 

The club’s financial situation, according to Jean-Michel Aulas himself, has improved, with the Lyon chief publicly stating that they have the ‘economic’ means to be able to bring players in as well as keep well-paid stars. However, he admitted that the club would not stand in the way of Paqueta should he wish to depart.

Lyon in the past have had a reputation for being quite difficult to deal with when it comes to player negotiations. 

‘There are proposals for him,’ said Aulas. ‘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.’  

Lyon’s head of recruitment Bruno Cheyrou admitted that the club were prepared for every eventuality regarding Paqueta

Arsenal’s technical director Edu is on the record speaking about his admiration for his compatriot Paqueta.   

‘I’m very respectful when I talk about Lucas,’ Edu told TNT Sports Brazil. ‘I’m a guy who likes him a lot, I’ve always liked him, since my time with Brazil’s national team.

‘He’s had a great season, he was considered the best [overseas] player in the French league.’

However, Edu suggested that Arsenal were well stocked in the attacking midfield department and inferred that a move could be unlikely this summer. 

‘But today, there really isn’t any kind of talk, there’s only my admiration for the player, because the squad today is, in the position he plays, I think we’re very well served in this regard,’ he said. 

Edu, Arsenal’s technical director, said that he admired his compatriot Paqueta in an interview with TNT Brazil 

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