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Manchester City identify Lucas Paqueta as Bernardo Silva replacement?

Man City identify Paqueta as Bernardo replacement?
© Reuters
Manchester City are reportedly targeting West Ham United's Lucas Paqueta as a potential addition to their already star-studded squad if Bernardo Silva leaves this summer.

Manchester City are reportedly targeting West Ham United's Brazilian midfielder Lucas Paqueta as a potential addition to their already star-studded squad if Bernardo Silva leaves this summer.

City, who clinched the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup last season, made an attempt to sign Paqueta last summer, but withdrew their interest when the Football Association initiated an investigation into potential breaches of betting rules involving the midfielder.

The investigation is believed to be centred around suspicious betting patterns of yellow cards and is a matter that remains unresolved.

Since the commencement of the investigation, Paqueta has consistently asserted his innocence and his representatives are confident that the truth will be revealed and the matter resolved before the end of the season.

West Ham United's Lucas Paqueta receives medical attention after sustaining an injury on January 7, 2024© Reuters

Despite the ongoing investigation, the 26-year-old remains a player admired by Pep Guardiola, and according to a report from The Telegraph, he is viewed as a potential addition to City's midfield should interest in Bernardo escalate.

The report adds that Paqueta was valued at £80m when he was linked with a move to the Etihad Stadium last season.

The Brazil international joined the Hammers for a fee north of £50m, and the club would, therefore, stand to make a significant profit on him should they receive their asking price.

Pacqueta still has three years remaining on his current contract at the London Stadium and an option to extend his deal by a further year.

This season, he has made 27 appearances for West Ham, during which he has scored five goals and provided six assists across all competitions.

Manchester City's Bernardo Silva during training on February 12, 2024© Reuters

Meanwhile, Bernardo, now 29 years of age, has two full seasons remaining on his contract after he extended his terms at the beginning of the campaign.

However, the Portuguese international has been on the shortlist of several clubs, including Paris Saint-Germain, who are set to lose Kylian Mbappe in four months, as well as Saudi Pro League teams that continue to look to sign Europe's top players.

The departures of attacking stars Cole Palmer and Riyad Mahrez underscored the importance of retaining Bernardo's services as the club entered this season, although he has openly expressed his desire to return to Benfica at some point in his career.

Bernardo has made 22 appearances for the Citizens in the Premier League this season and has already notched up six goals and four assists.

The defending champions currently sit second in the top-flight standings, just one point behind leaders Liverpool following Sunday's 1-0 win over Bournemouth.

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2Manchester CityMan City32227376324473
4Aston Villa33196868491963
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs32186865491660
6Newcastle UnitedNewcastle321551269521750
7Manchester UnitedMan Utd32155124748-150
8West Ham UnitedWest Ham33139115258-648
10Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton321111105250244
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves33127144653-743
15Crystal Palace3289153754-1733
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3379174258-1626
18Luton TownLuton3467214775-2825
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd3337233188-5716

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