Real Madrid have been looking at Lucas Paqueta at the ongoing Copa America 2021, with chief scout Juni Calafat left heavily impressed by the Brazilian midfielder.
According to a report from Defensa Central, La Liga giants Real Madrid have been keeping a close watch on players in action at the Copa America 2021 with one star, in particular, namely, Brazil’s Lucas Paqueta making a huge impression on Los Blancos’ chief scout Juni Calafat.
Paqueta came through the ranks at Brazilian club Flamengo before making the switch to Europe in January 2019, signing for Serie A heavyweights AC Milan. The 23-year-old showed glimpses of his potential with the Rossoneri but couldn’t establish himself as a regular and was on the move last summer, signing for Ligue 1 giants Olympique Lyon.
Upon arriving in France, Paqueta settled in quite nicely and quickly became a trusted member of now-departed manager Rudi Garcia as he went on to make 34 appearances for the club in all competitions, impressing with a haul of ten goals and six assists in the process. His form saw the attacking midfielder being rewarded with the call-up to the Brazil squad for the Copa America, where he has continued on his merry ways.
Paqueta has featured five times for Brazil at the continental tournament, scoring two goals in the process – one each in the quarter-final and the semi-final each – both match-winners as well, drawing praise from manager Tite. And, it seems like Real Madrid, too, have been left mighty impressed by the 23-year-old, with Juni Calafat reportedly ‘not taking his eyes off’ the midfielder.
It is no secret that Real Madrid are in the market for a new midfielder as Luka Modric enters the final phase of his illustrious career while Toni Kroos will also need his game-time managed as he, too, is on the wrong side of the thirties. In addition to that, question marks linger over the futures of fringe players such as Dani Ceballos, Isco, thus warranting the addition of another attacking central midfielder.
Paqueta, to that end, had been linked with Real Madrid in the recent past, with his performances at the Copa America working in his favour as the Merengues are now considering opening talks to secure his signing once the competition is out of the way. Valued at €30 million, the 23-year-old would be very much affordable for the club amid financial troubles as well, making him an attractive prospect.
It now remains to be seen if Real Madrid decide to firm up their interest in Paqueta this summer or decide to look at other options, with Inter Milan’s Nicolo Barella also being heavily linked.