Arsenal to move for Lucas Paqueta on one condition with Mikel Arteta keen on signings

Arteta not getting carried away over Arsenal's early season form

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta will sanction a move for Lyon midfielder Lucas Paqueta if they fail to land Youri Tielemans from Leicester City between now and next week’s transfer deadline, according to reports. The Gunners have already welcomed a handful of new faces since the end of last season but are said to be keen on adding further quality to their ranks before the summer window finally closes.

Paqueta has been linked with a potential move to Arsenal over the last few months after impressing in the middle of the park for Lyon, the club he remains tied down to until the summer of 2025. However, the north Londoners will only act on their interest in his signature if it becomes clear that Tielemans will be staying at Leicester for at least another season, according to The Sun.

It is said that Tielemans is still Arsenal’s top priority in midfield, with the Belgian playmaker set to become a free agent at the end of the campaign as things stand. The Gunners are believed to be planning to wait another year before securing his services without having to pay a transfer fee, but they remain aware that a last-gasp summer approach could still be on the cards if another team decides to join the hunt over the coming days.

If a move for Tielemans proves to be a step too far for Arsenal, they could reportedly decide to make a formal approach for Paqueta in advance of next week’s all-important deadline. The latter chipped in with six assists and nine goals for Lyon over the course of last season, with his attacking contributions helping the French heavyweights to secure an eighth-placed finish in Ligue 1.

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Arsenal are not the only side with an interest in Paqueta, though, with the likes of Newcastle United and Tottenham also having been mentioned in connection with him in recent months. Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has already revealed that a number of bids have been tabled for the 24-year-old, which suggests that Arsenal will need to intensify their pursuit to stand any chance of thrashing out a deal for the player over the coming days.

“There are proposals for him,” said Aulas when quizzed on Paqueta’s immediate future. “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 want to do.”

It remains to be seen how Arsenal will approach the final stages of their summer recruitment drive as Arteta looks to strengthen his ranks to boost the club’s top-four hopes in the Premier League this season. Only time will tell if the Gunners ultimately manage to get things right in the market, though, with the addition of a new midfielder seemingly near the top of their to-do list between now and the end of the summer window.

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