Arsenal chief Edu opens up on Lucas Paqueta transfer rumours – ‘I’ve always liked him’

Lucas Paquetá practises kick-ups on beach with fiancé

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Arsenal technical director Edu has revealed he has always been a fan of Brazil international Lucas Paqueta. However, the Gunners chief has quashed rumours over a potential move to the Emirates for the midfielder.

Paqueta enjoyed a fine season at Lyon last term. His performances have led to links of a move away from the Ligue 1 club in this transfer window.

Arsenal and Newcastle are both rumoured to be keen on signing the 24-year-old. Edu knows the player well from his time as general manager for the Brazil national team.

However, speaking ahead of Arsenal’s 4-0 friendly win over Chelsea overnight, he has seemingly ruled out a move for Paqueta, claiming Mikel Arteta already has enough players in his position. “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. 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.” Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas confirmed earlier in the window there were offers for Paqueta but did not reveal the identity of the interested clubs.

“There are proposals for him,” said Aulas. “There are certain players who can feel complete in the project, and others who don’t.

“Economically, we have the means to pursue our ideas and objectives. The coach gave us his opinion and there is also what the players want to do.”

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Arsenal have made five signings so far in the window, with Oleksandr Zinchenko the latest arrival from Manchester City. But manager Arteta has revealed his plans for incomings have not finished yet.

Arteta said: “I think we are completing what we planned. There is still a few things that we would like to do in and out and that will be determined by the possibilities that are on the market.

“We still have some players that are in contention to stay or go and the moment we have news we will communicate that.” Asked if he knows how many players he wants to sign, Arteta replied: “We do have a number. We cannot share it.”

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