Man City see £80m transfer plan scuppered by FA probe as betting charge issued

Lucas Paqueta has been charged by the FA. (Image: Getty)

Manchester City’s summer transfer plans have been dealt an early blow after West Ham United ace Lucas Paqueta was charged by the FA for breaking betting rules.

City had been monitoring the Brazilian midfielder and even saw an £80million bid accepted last summer, but any hopes of a move to the Premier League champions have been scuppered.

As per The Daily Mail, it’s suggested the FA probe was triggered by ‘suspicious betting patterns’, traced back to Paqueta Island in Brazil, on the back of an injury-time yellow card Paqueta received during West Ham’s opening day draw against Bournemouth in August 2023.

Paqueta – who denies the claims – picked up a late yellow card for a push on Bournemouth’s Illia Zabarnyi, with other incidents involving Aston Villa’s John McGinn and Leeds United’s Crysencio Summerville also having raised eyebrows.

It’s suggested he was cooperative during the investigation, which included an interview with FA chiefs last September.

The midfielder will now have his case heard by an independent commission, which could lead to a ban, if he’s found guilty.

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Lucas Paqueta joined West Ham for £51m in August 2022. (Image: Getty)

Paqueta took to social media to offer his reaction to the news by saying: “I am extremely surprised and upset that The FA has decided to charge me.

“For nine months, I have cooperated with every step of their investigation and provided all the information I can. I deny the charges in their entirety and will fight with every breath to clear my name. Due to the ongoing process, I will not be providing any further comment.”

It all but ends Paqueta’s hopes of joining City during the upcoming transfer window, given the Manchester-based outfit are unlikely to push forward with a transfer for a player who has been charged with betting offences.

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What’s more, it’s also created a problem for West Ham, who would’ve been expecting to make a hefty profit on the £51million they paid for Paqueta in August 2022.

Instead, the Hammers will be left with a player under contract until the summer of 2027, who could also be forced to sit out a chunk of time through suspension.

Paqueta has played 84 times for West Ham, scoring 13 goals and assisting a further 14. He was also part of the side that won the Europa Conference League under David Moyes in June 2023.