Arsenal technical director Edu has publicly declared his admiration for heavily-linked Lyon midfielder Lucas Paqueta.
The 24-year-old Brazilian has seen his name strongly associated with a move away from the Parc Olympique Lyonnais this summer, and Arsenal have emerged as one of the reported front-runners for his signature.
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has already confirmed that clubs have tabled bids for his prized midfield asset, revealing earlier this month that “there are proposals for him”.
Mikel Arteta has already bolstered his squad this summer with five new signings, including Gabriel Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Fabio Vieira, Marquinhos and Matt Turner, spending a combined £113m on fresh recruits.
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However, reports suggest that Arsenal’s spending spree is not finished there, and Edu’s latest comments about heavily-linked Paqueta will only fan the flames on that particular notion.
Edu told TNT Sports Brazil: “I’m very respectful when I talk about Lucas [Paqueta]. 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 today, there really isn’t any kind of talk, there’s only my admiration for the player, because the squad today is, in the position he plays, I think we’re very well served in this regard.”
If Aulas’ previous comments are anything to go by then Arsenal will face heavy competition for Paqueta’s signature, though he did stress that Lyon are under no financial pressure to sell their midfield gem.
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The Lyon president commented earlier this month: “There are proposals for him.
“There are certain players who can feel complete in the project, and others who don’t.
“Economically, we have the means to pursue our ideas and objectives.
“The coach gave us his opinion and there is also what the players wants to do.”