Breaking News!! £35 Forest star forward finally decides to join West Ham over PL giants after London Stadium

West Ham are thought to be weighing up a £35 million “leader” as they draw up a shortlist of potential Lucas Paqueta replacements.

Paqueta tipped to leave West Ham this summer

 

One of the shining lights of their season has been, without doubt, Paqueta and his sublime form at times.

The Brazil international was a statement signing from Lyon back in the summer of 2022, and he has since gone on to showcase his sheer quality week in, week out at the London Stadium.

This season, Paqueta has been West Ham’s best-performing player per game, averaging a match rating of 7.17/10 according to WhoScored – which is the highest number of any Hammers player, including Jarrod Bowen.

Bagging three goals and five assists over 22 league starts this term, things could’ve been very different if it wasn’t for the midfielder’s alleged off-field betting scandal. Paqueta was actually nearing a move to Man City last summer, but Pep Guardiola’s side pulled the plug on a deal following the player’s betting investigation (Fabrizio Romano).

 

That certainly wasn’t the end of it for West Ham, though, as reports suggest a host of top clubs including City could come back in for Paqueta this summer.

The 26-year-old’s future remains uncertain, and according to talkSPORT journalist Alex Crook, Tim Steidten is making contingency plans in case their star man does depart later this year.

West Ham eyeing Morgan Gibbs-White to replace Paqueta

 

According to Crook, Nottingham Forest star Morgan Gibbs-White is being weighed up behind the scenes. The Englishman, who cost Forest an initial £35 million, boasts three goals and five assists over 28 league appearances as one of Nuno Espirito Santo’s star players.

However, the club may have to sell a prized asset of theirs this summer in an effort to comply with PSR and FFP regulations – which could well hand Steidten and co a boost in pursuit of the playmaker.

West Ham are eyeing Gibbs-White as a potential Paqueta successor amid Forest’s financial woes, with London rivals Spurs also keeping tabs.

 

It is unclear what Forest would demand to sell the 24-year-old, but his quality is clear as day.

 

“I’m a big fan of his. I think he is always positive, he gets on the half-turn and plays defence-splitting passes,” said pundit and former Brighton striker Glenn Murray on Match of the Day this month (via BBC Sport).

“He’s just always looking to progress the team.

 

“He’s just always positive. He’s got another side to his game – he doesn’t shirk his responsibilities and fights back. For me, that’s why he has become a really positive leader for Nottingham Forest.”