Lyon chief addresses Lucas Paqueta exit rumours

Lyon recruitment chief Bruno Cheyrou has confessed Lucas Paqueta could leave the club this summer amid rumoured interest from Arsenal and Newcastle United.

Links between Paqueta and a £50m move to Newcastle have been around all summer, while Arsenal involved themselves in the conversation recently as sporting director Edu confessed his admiration for the player.

“I like Paqueta lot, I’ve been a big fan for a long time, since my time with Brazil’s national team,” Edu told TNT Sports. “He’s had a great season, he was considered the best [overseas] player in the French league.”

Edu did move to calm the speculation but Lyon’s Cheyrou has sparked it back up by admitting that the French side are looking to trim their squad this summer.

“We need to reduce the squad size,” Cheyrou told a press conference. “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 Jean-Michel Aulas and 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.”

Later asked whether Paqueta specifically would be allowed to leave, Cheyrou responded: “We are prepared for every eventuality.”

24-year-old Paqueta has exploded into life with Lyon over the past few seasons, banishing memories of a tricky 18-month spell with AC Milan between January 2019 and the summer of 2020.

The Brazilian midfielder bagged eight goals and added a further six assists in Ligue 1 last season, earning himself a spot on the five-man shortlist for the division’s Player of the Year – a race he eventually lost to Kylian Mbappe.

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