Newcastle United have reportedly had a €40 million proposal rejected by Lyon for attacking midfielder Lucas Paqueta.

According to French outlet Le 10 Sport, Newcastle United have been handed a major setback ahead of the January transfer window, with Lyon star Lucas Paqueta reportedly rejecting a lucrative offer from the club. The Brazilian international is under contract at Groupama Stadium until 2025, and the Ligue 1 outfit have turned down the Premier League club’s offer.

The report details that the Magpies started bidding at €40 million and were prepared to go higher if Lyon demanded, to secure the Brazilian’s services. Newcastle proposed to more than double the 24-year-old midfielder’s current salary to tempt the player to join the St. James’ Park outfit.

However, Paqueta has rejected the English clubs advances as the 24-year-old is happy with his status in the Rhône and does not want to leave Lyon unless a top club comes in for him, despite the significant pay rise and opportunity to play in the Premier League. With the player’s refusal, Les Gones rebuffed the bid tabled by the English outfit.

Although the offer was snubbed, the proposition was tempting, both for Lyon and for the player, while it also gave a big hint of Newcastle’s new owners’ deep pockets. Paqueta currently nets €390,000 per month in Lyon, but the Toon were willing to increase his weekly wages to a mammoth total of €10 million per year.

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Lyon signed from AC Milan for a fee of €20 million in 2020, but there was a general scepticism around him when he arrived in France after his dismal spell at San Siro. However, the Selecao ace quickly turned the tables around and has been nothing short of a revelation at Lyon.

He has been in fine form this season with seven goals and four assists from 21 appearances in all competitions, despite Lyon languishing in 13th in the French top flight. With his stock on the rise, Paqueta’s talent will need more than a mid-table finish to convince, and if Lyon do not qualify for European football next season, he may opt to leave for the sake of his career.

Paqueta is arguably the French side’s most important player, and it is no surprise that he was apprehensive about the prospect of a relegation struggle at Newcastle. With the Magpies flirting with drop at 19th in the league table, Eddie Howe’s side awaits a challenging January transfer window, and it is a tall task to attract quality players to join the club.

While their attempt to sign Paqueta was an audacious one, the 28-capped Brazilian is not the type of player they should target, given their desperate need for reinforcements at the back. They need experienced heads to dig deep to get out of their current predicament.

Elsewhere, the Magpies are closing in on the signing of Atletico Madrid and England defender Kieran Trippier as they aim for an influx of new signings to boost their survival hopes. Newcastle hierarchy must get their recruitment drive bang on target ​and be more creative at utilizing loan and overseas markets.

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