Manchester United are the latest entrants in the race to sign Flamengo star Lucas Paqueta, who is attracting interest from Real Madrid, Barcelona and others.
French publication Le 10 Sport are claiming that Manchester United have taken note of the rise of Lucas Paqueta. The Flamengo star has recently become a full-fledged Brazilian international during the international break and has been on the radar of Barcelona, Real Madrid, AC Milan and PSG for a while.
But, Manchester United have gone one step ahead, reportedly submitting an enquiry to Flamengo in order to scour the possibility of a transfer in the upcoming transfer window(s). The Red Devils have opened negotiations with the Brazilian outfit and are hopeful of doing a deal below the midfielder’s reported €50 million release clause.
Lucas Paqueta is the latest in a long line of emerging stars from Brazil. The 21-year-old has been producing convincing performances for Flamengo on a consistent basis. Tite rewarded the youngster with a call-up to the senior Brazil squad during the international break, wherein he was handed his debut against USA before playing the entire ninety against El Salvador.
Barcelona have been looking at potential recruits in the midfield position for a while. Arthur Melo and Arturo Vidal have arrived. But, the latter is seen as a short-term addition to the roster, with Ernesto Valverde keen on adding to his options in the said position. Frenkie De Jong and Paul Pogba top the shortlist. But, Lucas Paqueta is also a name that interests the Barcelona camp.
Real Madrid, on the other hand, are in genuine need of midfielders. Mateo Kovacic’s departure was not mitigated with an arrival and Luka Modric could be on his way out, thus accentuating the need for the addition of at least one genuine midfield general, something Lucas Paqueta has shown the ability to be.
Manchester United though, could be the ones that make the move for Lucas Paqueta. Fred arrived during the summer. But, United’s midfield is still a long way from being the finished product that Jose Mourinho wanted.
Nemanja Matic is reaching a certain age and while he can continue, Paul Pogba has been hinting at a move away from the club in the near future, which would require United to delve into the market for a replacement.
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic was touted as the Pogba replacement. But, Lucas Paqueta could emerge as a better alternative, even if Pogba ends up staying. Manchester United’s midfield has been crying out for a midfield general like Paqueta since the likes of Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick hung up their boots.
United are confident of being able to strike a deal at around €40 million for the winter transfer window. Barcelona signed Coutinho in January, 2018 and could delve into the market again for a Premier League superstar this time around, with Paul Pogba the likely target.
Manchester United seem to be preparing for life without Paul Pogba. Lucas Paqueta’s addition though, could turn out to be a blessing for United, who will then boast of three bright Brazilian midfielders in Fred, Paqueta and Andreas Pereira.