Newcastle United may be boosted in their pursuit of Lyon star Lucas Paqueta as Bruno Guimaraes’ sensational start to life at St James’ Park could ‘encourage’ him to make a similar move, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.
The Magpies became the richest club in world football when the Saudi Arabia-based Public Investment Fund completed a £305million takeover last October, so head coach Eddie Howe could splash the cash when the transfer window reopens in the summer.
What’s the latest news involving Paqueta?
According to ChronicleLive, Newcastle are mulling over whether to make a move for Lyon creative midfielder Paqueta and are facing competition from Premier League rivals Arsenal.
The report suggests the Ligue 1 outfit have set an asking price of £58million, while the 31-cap Brazil international is eager to secure a contract worth £180,000-per-week after seeing Paris Saint-Germain drop out of the race for his signature.
Securing a deal with such a lucrative pay package would see Paqueta clinch a major wage hike as his current agreement with Lyon, which has more than three years to run, is worth £49,000-per-week.
The 24-year-old has reportedly told Lyon chief Peter Bosz that he will make a decision on whether to remain with the French giants at the end of the season.
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What has Pete O’Rourke said about Paqueta?
Having forked out £40million to sign Guimaraes from Lyon in January, O’Rourke believes Newcastle are in a strong position to conclude a deal for Paqueta.
The journalist told GIVEMESPORT: “Obviously, it would help make things easier considering Newcastle and Lyon have dealt with each other quite recently.
“It also helps Paqueta, knowing that he’s got a fellow Brazilian and a fellow former team-mate at St James’ Park. It’ll be something that might encourage him to make the move like Bruno Guimaraes did and would definitely help him settle in if he were to make the move.
“Paqueta is a top player who has done well for Lyon and it just shows the way that Newcastle are looking to strive.
“They’re ambitious targets that they’ve got in the transfer market and I think Bruno seems like he’s fitted in nicely at Newcastle as well. That is definitely something that will encourage Paqueta to join him at St James’ Park.”
Why could Guimaraes play a key role in the deal?
Paqueta and Guimaraes know each other well, having featured alongside each other 47 times for Lyon and Brazil.
Guimaraes has adapted to the rigours of Premier League football seamlessly, with him chalking up four goals and an assist in 14 appearances since swapping Lyon for St James’ Park.
The 24-year-old’s performances have already seen him become a fans’ favourite and play a key role in guiding Newcastle into the top half of the Premier League, so Paqueta could look to follow in his former team-mate’s footsteps by heading for Tyneside.