Man City consider midfield options after cooling Lucas Paqueta interest

Manchester City are considering moves for Eberechi Eze and Matheus Nunes after backing away from a deal for Lucas Paqueta, sources have confirmed to 90min.

City had been locked in talks with West Ham over a move for 25-year-old Paqueta, who had made it known behind closed doors that he wanted to join the Premier League champions.

But a potential move to the Etihad Stadium has been shelved after the FA and FIFA opened an investigation into potential betting breaches from Paqueta, much to the dismay of the player and his camp who are mystified and shocked by the investigation.

Paqueta played for West Ham at the weekend, scoring an injury-time penalty to condemn Chelsea to a 3-1 defeat at London Stadium, and has not been suspended while enquiries are carried out.

City, meanwhile, scraped past Newcastle United 1-0 at the Etihad Stadium thanks to Julian Alvarez’s goal, and they are now working behind the scenes to identify alternative targets to Paqueta.

90min understands that one player under consideration is Eberechi Eze, who has stood head and shoulders above his Crystal Palace teammates since Roy Hodgson was re-appointed as manager in March.

He ended the 2022/23 Premier League season with ten goals from 38 games, but showed his best form in the final stages of the campaign as Palace overcame their alarming slump in form to comfortably avoid relegation.

Eze was offered a contract extension earlier this summer, but 90min understands that he has declined to put pen to paper, casting doubt over his long-term future at Selhurst Park.

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City are also showing interest in Wolves midfielder Matheus Nunes, as they consider filling the void left by Ilkay Gundogan’s departure to Barcelona this summer and Kevin De Bruyne’s enforced injury lay-off.

The 24-year-old joined Wolves from Sporting CP on a five-year contract last summer, but the club’s delicate financial situation could see them listen to an offer from City that is too good to down. Sources have told 90min the figure needed would likely need to be in excess of £60m, such is his importance to the team after Ruben Neves’ departure to Al Hilal.

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, relegated with Leicester last season, is another player City hold an appreciation for, but any potential bids for him, or Eze and Nunes for that matter, could depend on whether or not Kalvin Phillips leaves the Etihad.

The 27-year-old played under 600 minutes of first-team football for City last season after joining Leeds from £45m, and 90min understands that he’s drawing attention from Bayern Munich and Liverpool, who are both looking for defensive-minded midfielders.

But his preference is to stay and fight for his place in Pep Guardiola’s side, despite the presence of Rodri and others in his favoured position.

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On this edition of Talking Transfers, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott Saunders is joined by Graeme Bailey to discuss Liverpool signing Wataru Endo, Man Utd’s difficulty selling players and West Ham’s pursuit of Mohammed Kudus – and more!

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