Newcastle 'interested' in signing £68m Brazilian at St James' Park

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe waving at the crowd

Newcastle United do have ‘an interest’ in Lucas Paqueta, although it’s not something to be taken ‘too seriously’, according to journalist Dean Jones.

The 24-year-old has been tipped to depart current club Lyon this summer after they failed to qualify for any of Europe’s three competitions.

What is the latest news involving Paqueta?

Back in April, The Chronicle reported that Newcastle were set to compete with Arsenal for Paqueta’s signature yet a formal offer is still to materialise from either side.

However, French outlet L’Equipe (via The Chronicle) provided an update on the Brazil international’s future last month, stating that he is keen to depart the Groupama Stadium.

Lyon’s outspoken president Jean-Michel Aulas claimed that it would take an offer in the region of €80 million (£68m) to prise Paqueta away from the club in January, a fee that would make him Newcastle’s record signing.

The South American would be reunited with his good friend and compatriot Bruno Guimaraes should he make the switch to St. James’ Park.

What has Jones said about Paqueta?

Newcastle have already brought in Nick Pope, Matt Targett and Sven Botman in the early stages of the transfer window, with further additions expected to follow.

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But Jones has informed GiveMeSport that Paqueta’s situation is ‘a tricky one’ as he has been receiving mixed messages regarding the Magpies’ stance.

He told GMS: “It’s a tricky one Paqueta, because it depends which side of the Newcastle ownership you talk to about him being a target. I’m told not to take it too seriously at this stage, but there is an interest.”

Where would Paqueta fit in at Newcastle?

Newcastle almost exclusively lined up in a 4-3-3 formation following the arrival of Eddie Howe in November, and the setup helped them climb up the table to finish in 11th place.

Paqueta, an attacking midfielder, would surely be seen as a natural fit for the most advanced role in Howe’s three-man engine room, potentially taking the place of Jonjo Shelvey.

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The versatile star registered 11 goals and seven assists in 43 appearances for Lyon last term in what was a hugely underwhelming campaign for the French giants.

Paqueta’s manager Pete Bosz labelled him “extraordinary” for his impressive exploits, though, and Newcastle fans will certainly be hoping the club’s hierarchy can bring another Samba star to the North East.

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