Newcastle: £58m star is a ‘genuine target’ for PIF at St. James’ Park

Newcastle manager Eddie Howe in the Premier League against Arsenal

Newcastle United target Lucas Paqueta would be a ‘marquee signing’ for the club this summer, according to Daily Express journalist Ryan Taylor.

It’s expected to be a busy transfer window for the Magpies, who became the world’s richest football club following their Saudi-backed takeover last year.

What is the latest news involving Paqueta?

During January, the Saudi Public Investment Fund handed manager Eddie Howe a £90 million budget, allowing him to bring in five new acquisitions to the club.

However, despite the success of those arrivals, The Telegraph claim Howe will only have a similar figure to spend when the market opens up next month.

But that has not stopped Newcastle from being linked to several high-profile stars, with Paqueta one name believed to be on their radar.

According to The Chronicle, the St. James’ Park outfit are interested in raiding Lyon once again for the immensely talented 24-year-old, who is said to have a £58m price tag.

The report claims that fellow Premier League outfit Arsenal are also interested in bringing Paqueta to English shores after Paris Saint-Germain dropped out of the running.

What has Taylor said about Paqueta?

When asked about possible Newcastle transfer targets, Taylor told GiveMeSport: “I know they will shop abroad as well.

“I know Lucas Paqueta from Lyon would be sort of a marquee signing for them; he’s been in Newcastle this week actually because he’s good friends with Bruno Guimaraes.

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“I know Newcastle fans are kind of angling for that one. He is a genuine target, so it’ll just be interesting to see how much Newcastle will have to play with, but nobody truly knows at the moment.

“I think we’ll kind of gauge that from the first sort of offers they make and what kind of players they firm up interest in.”

Just how good is Paqueta?

Paqueta struggled when he first arrived in European football back in January 2019, registering just one goal and three assists in 44 appearances for AC Milan.

But the Brazil international has revived his career in style since joining Lyon nearly two years ago, racking up 34 goal contributions in 78 outings across all competitions.

And Paqueta’s underlying numbers are also indicative of his truly top-class potential, highlighting his worth with and without the ball.

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The South American has ranked in the 99th percentile for tackles, 97th for pressures, 93rd for progressive passes received and 88th for progressive passes completed compared to players in his position over the last year, as per FBref.

Whether Newcastle are willing to splash should a big chunk of their budget on one player remains to be seen, but Paqueta’s arrival in the North East of England would surely be seen as a significant coup for Newcastle.

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