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Arsenal and Newcastle United could struggle to sign Lyon’s Lucas Paqueta this summer because of the French club’s new owner, according to reports.
The 24-year-old was in brilliant form for Lyon last campaign, contributing nine goals and six assists in Ligue 1, as the club finished eighth.
There has been speculation that the Brazilian could be available for as low as £34m with Arsenal and Newcastle both heavily linked with a transfer.
A report from France recently claimed that Paqueta was ‘open’ to joining Arsenal this summer as he liked the sound of their ‘project’.
However, speaking on Sunday, Arsenal technical director Edu insisted that the Gunners have not even had a “conversation” about signing the Brazil international.
Edu said: “I’m very respectful when I talk about Lucas, 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. But as of today, the reality is that there’s not even a conversation to sign him. There’s nothing as we’ve many players in that position, that’s it… can’t say more.”
If Arsenal do make a move for Paqueta then they could be boosted by news that Lyon chief Bruno Cheyrou has not ruled out more sales with the former Liverpool midfielder admitting that the French club need to reduce the size of their playing staff.
Cheyrou said: “We need to reduce the squad size. In terms of departures, we will analyse offers on a case-by-case basis but the economics will come into consideration.
“We will consider the offers with [owner] Jean-Michel Aulas and [technical director] Vincent Ponsot in order to make the best decisions. I am here to ensure the best team possible, but there are other things to take into account as well.”
When asked specifically about Paqueta’s potential exit, Cheyrou added: “We are prepared for every eventuality.”
Newcastle were linked to Paqueta as far back as April and could look to add him to the signings of Matt Targett, Nick Pope and Sven Botman this summer.
However, the Geordies and Arsenal could be disappointed in their chase for Paqueta after US businessman John Textor completed his takeover of Lyon.
CBS Sports journalist Ben Jacobs claims that although the Brazilian would be open to a move, Textor wants to keep him as he looks to “compete” with Paris Saint-Germain.
Jacobs told NUFC Matters: “Paqueta wants a fresh challenge – so that’s the positive.
“So there is a window of opportunity for any suitor if they choose to act. The challenge is going to be about agreeing a deal with Lyon.
“What complicates that challenge even more is that Jean-Michel Aulas may be saying that he’s willing to sell, but John Textor is the American incoming majority owner at Lyon who doesn’t yet have a say – but will soon. And he’s the one that has stated on record that Lyon are going to compete with PSG, which is a massive claim. So I don’t think Textor wants Paqueta to go.”
The article Arsenal, Newcastle hit transfer ‘complication’ despite Cheyrou claim about ‘squad size’ appeared first on Football365.com.