Fabrizio Romano has shared a behind-the-scenes claim concerning Manchester City and a potential transfer that could take place before the end of the current summer window.
Speaking on the latest episode of his Here We Go podcast (via City Xtra), Romano claimed that should Bernardo Silva end up joining Barcelona this summer, the Citizens could look to sign Lucas Paqueta from Olympique Lyon as a potential replacement.
In those appearances, the 24-year-old has found the net 20 times and delivered 13 assists along the way.
Although losing Silva would be seen as a blow by those at City this term, replacing him with the ever-improving Paqueta would make for excellent business by the City hierarchy.
Last season saw Paqueta score nine goals and provide six assists in 35 Ligue 1 appearances as he played more minutes than any other outfield player at the club.
That demonstrates not just his impressive fitness, but his ability to dictate play and impact proceedings in the final third, areas where Silva has thrived at the Etihad.
He also managed to end the campaign with more shots at goal (87), shot-creating actions (117) and successful tackles (61) than any other Lyon player as well as the joint-highest number of successful dribbles (75).
This further indicates that he could be a suitable replacement for Silva as only Kevin De Bruyne (139) made more shot-creating actions than him (127) for City in the Premier League last season.
The Portugal international also ended his latest league campaign with the third-highest number of tackles won (33) in Guardiola’s squad, highlighting just how similar he is to Paqueta in terms of his usefulness on and off the ball.
Hailed as a “sensational” player by podcaster Dave Harvey, as well as having “excellent” attacking talent by Rudi Garcia, it’s easy to see why the midfielder has been identified as a potential transfer target by City and why he has a hefty reported price tag of £55.4m.
Should Silva find himself joining the likes of Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski and Jules Kounde at Barcelona this summer, securing a deal for Paqueta would surely be an excellent move from the Manchester club, thus helping them ease what would undeniably be a big blow should the current City star leave.