West Ham’s Paquetá investigated for alleged betting breaches – sources – ESPN – ESPN.co.uk

ESPNAug 18, 2023, 09:12 PM2 Minute Read

West Ham United midfielder Lucas Paquetá is being investigated by the English Football Association (FA) over potential breaches of betting rules, sources confirmed to ESPN.

As a result of the investigation, negotiations with Manchester City over a potential transfer for the Brazil international have been put on hold, sources added.

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Both the FA and West Ham declined to comment on Friday’s reports.

ESPN reported last week that Paqueta was high on their list of potential targets. Paqueta is valued at more than £70 million ($89.4m) by West Ham, who would be reluctant to lose the 25-year-old after the departure of Declan Rice to Arsenal already this summer.

Brazil coach Fernando Diniz said on Friday he left Paquetá off the squad for the first matches of the South American qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup to “preserve” him while he deals with the investigation.

Lucas Paqueta had been subject of interest from Manchester City.Henry Browne/Getty Images

“It’s a matter of preservation, of letting him resolve these issues, which go beyond football and keeping him at ease to work on this matter. This is a situation (illegal betting) that we also have here in Brazil and it takes time for things to settle down and clarify,” Diniz said at a press conference in Sao Paulo.

Diniz stated the Brazilian midfielder has the “doors open” to come back to the national team as soon as “he positively resolves those issues that occurred at the last minute.”

Paquetá helped West Ham lift the Europa Conference League trophy in his first season at the London Stadium following a £50m move from Lyon in 2022. He has also had spells at AC Milan and Flamengo and was part of Brazil’s squad at the World Cup in Qatar.

Brentford and England striker Ivan Toney was suspended from all football-related activities for eight months and fined £50,000 in May after after he admitted to 232 breaches of the FA’s betting rules.

The FA had initially pushed for a 15-month ban but reduced the punishment after taking into account Toney’s guilty plea and evidence from a psychiatry expert who concluded he is an addict.

The Daily Mail was the first to report the news of FA investigating Paquetá.

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