Newcastle: Bruno Guimaraes could 'help' PIF land £33m star at St James' Park

Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe

Newcastle United‘s interest in Lyon star Lucas Paqueta is more serious than initially thought, says transfer insider Dean Jones.

Jones also believes the Tyneside club could try and use Bruno Guimaraes’ relationship with the attacking midfielder to lure him to St James’ Park this summer.

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What is the latest news involving Paqueta?

As per The Northern Echo, Paqueta is a target for Newcastle. However, according to the same outlet, the Magpies are wary of competition from Arsenal.

Leicester City’s James Maddison is another attacking midfielder on Eddie Howe’s radar, but the Foxes’ reported £60m valuation has made doing a deal difficult.

It could now see Newcastle and PIF concentrate on Paqueta, who starred for Lyon last season as the French side went on to finish eighth in Ligue 1.

In 35 league appearances, the Brazilian managed to score nine goals and provide six assists. If he is to leave Lyon in this transfer window, reports suggest that he could cost £33m.

What has Jones said about Paqueta and Newcastle?

Jones says Newcastle’s interest in Paqueta is stronger than he initially thought and thinks Guimaraes could play a part in bringing his former Lyon team-mate to St James’ Park this summer.

When asked if the Magpies could use the two Brazilians’ relationship to help convince the 24-year-old to move to Tyneside, the journalist told GIVEMESPORT: “Definitely. You use anything you can to your advantage and that could help them. I mean, they’re hotter on this player than I initially thought they would be.”

Would Paqueta be a good alternative to Maddison?

Maddison seems to be the No.10 that Howe really wants at St James’ Park after Newcastle had two bids for him rejected, the last being worth £50m.

However, their chances of signing him seem to be fading, so it may now be time to move on to an alternative. And Paqueta would be an excellent one.

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Over the last year, the Brazil international has ranked in the 90th percentile for total shots, the 84th for expected assists and the 86th for progressive passes among attacking midfielders and wingers (via FBref), so he could be a real threat in Howe’s side.

Speaking recently to TNT Sports Brazil (via Daily Mirror) about Paqueta, Arsenal technical director Edu said: “I’m a guy who likes him a lot, I’ve always liked him, since my time with Brazil’s national team. He’s had a great season, he was considered the best [overseas] player in the French league.”

Ultimately, it is clear that Paqueta has his admirers in England, with Newcastle and Arsenal two potential destinations for the Lyon star this summer.

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