Paqueta To Man City Deal Collapses Due To Betting Investigation
Manchester City’s bid to sign Lucas Paqueta collapsed Friday evening after accusations of potential betting breaches against the Brazilian and his family.
City had been in talks with West Ham over a potential transfer for the Brazilian number 10 for the past weeks. However, on Friday evening Kieran Gill and Jack Gaughan of MailOnline reported that Paqueta was under investigation by the FA. Their website stated, “It can now be confirmed that the 25-year-old Brazilian is the subject of an FA investigation over allegations of gambling on football.
“The specifics are yet to be revealed while West Ham nervously waits to see if it will lead to Paqueta being charged by the authorities.”
ITK and fan accounts suggested that the breaches are to do with his family back in Brazil, who allegedly placed bets on their relative receiving yellow cards in games. Sources close to the player say that he is “surprised and shocked” and that the investigation is expected to be about bets not placed by the midfielder.
Website GeGlobo indicated the incident stems from a yellow card received in West Ham’s 1-1 draw with Aston Villa on the 12th of March 2023. They say: “Initial analysis showed that on that day several new accounts were created at Betway, with users depositing the maximum amount allowed.
“These accounts made a matched bet to increase the winnings: the authors would only receive the money if Paquetá took a yellow card against Villa and if striker Luiz Henrique, from Betis, received a card against Villarreal, on the same day, March 12.”
If Paqueta is found to have colluded and purposely got himself booked, he could face a lengthy ban. Rules state that if anyone is proven to have match-fixed, it is likely to lead to a “significant suspension, and in some instances, a lifetime ban.”
In May, Brentford forward Ivan Toney was banned for eight months for breaching FA betting rules. It is thought Toney only bet on matches he was not involved in, so if Paqueta is found to have co-operated, he could face a longer suspension.
Deal Was Close Between European Champions
West Ham and Manchester City had been close to agreeing a deal for the 25-year-old. Reports of a transfer intensified after Kevin De Bruyne hobbled off injured in their opening premier league fixture against Burnley on Friday. Paqueta had been highlighted as the perfect replacement by Pep Guardiola, a high-pressing playmaker whose dancing boots bring flair to his game.
Both clubs rated the player highly, and although personal terms wouldn’t be an issue, there was still a gap in valuations. It had been suggested that the Premier League champions would include Cole Palmer as part of the deal. Palmer is coming off a promising European U21 campaign, which saw his free-kick deflect in off Curtis Jones in the final for the winner. He also scored in the Community Shield against Arsenal, showing that he has made enough progress to warrant consistent first-team football. West Ham were interested in the proposal but wanted an additional £80 million to complete it. This fell well past City’s valuation of the player.
The Mancunian’s first bid of £60 million with £10 million in add-ons was rejected last Thursday, but Fabrizio Romano had repeatedly stated the club’s intent to return with an improved offer later this week. Yet when news broke on Friday, he tweeted: “Negotiations currently off between Manchester City and West Ham”. However, there is the possibility that if the situation is resolved quickly, the Champions League winners would re-enter talks.