Lyon transfer chief gives six-word response to Lucas Paqueta question amid Arsenal links

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Lyon transfer chief Bruno Cheyrou has admitted the Ligue 1 outfit are “prepared for every eventuality” with regards to Lucas Paqueta amid the midfielder’s incessant links to Arsenal. Gunners technical director Edu recently expressed his admiration for the Brazilian star and has seen his hopes of landing the 24-year-old boosted following Cheyrou’s confession that Lyon must “reduce the squad size” this summer.

With Mikel Arteta keen to add a midfielder to his ranks before the window closes, Paqueta has emerged as an Arsenal transfer target, and alternative to Leicester’s Youri Tielemans, this summer. Fresh from Edu addressing such speculation and piling praise on his compatriot, Lyon recruitment chief Cheyrou has now revealed the club are preparing for life after the midfielder, should any suitable offers arrive this summer.

When probed over whether Paqueta in particular could be allowed to leave in the current window, Cheyrou admitted in a press conference: “We are prepared for every eventuality.” The ex-Liverpool midfielder also disclosed that the French side are looking to cut down their numbers ahead of the upcoming season.

“We need to reduce the squad size,” Cheyrou said. “In terms of departures, we will analyse offers on a case-by-case basis but the economics will come into consideration.

“We will consider the offers with Jean-Michel Aulas and Vincent Ponsot in order to make the best decisions. I am here to ensure the best team possible, but there are other things to take into account as well.”

Both Arsenal and Premier League counterparts Newcastle have been linked with Paqueta this summer amid talk of a £50million fee required to capture the 33-time Brazil international. Edu recently revealed he is a “big fan” of the Lyon midfielder but moved to cool suggestions Arsenal will go all out to sign the Samba star this summer.

“I’m very respectful when I talk about Lucas,” Edu told TNT Sports Brazil. “I’m a guy who likes him a lot, I’ve always liked him, since my time with Brazil’s national team.

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“He’s had a great season, he was considered the best [overseas] player in the French league. But today, there really isn’t any kind of talk, there’s only my admiration for the player, because the squad today is, in the position he plays, I think we’re very well served in this regard.”

Paqueta enjoyed a stellar campaign last term, netting 10 goals and registering a further seven assists across 42 appearances for Lyon. The midfielder’s exploits saw him voted the best foreign player in the Ligue 1 for last season.

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