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Lucas Paqueta makes Man City transfer dream clear but it's just got harder

As far as come-and-get-me pleas go, they don't get much more blatant then giving the manager you want to play for a big old hug before playing against his team.

Lucas Paqueta made his desires pretty clear by doing exactly that on Saturday. Ahead of Manchester City's 3-1 win over West Ham United, the Brazilian made his way over to the dug-out to embrace Pep Guardiola and meet the rest of his coaching staff.

If the wind blew a different way, Paqueta may well have been lining up for the champions at his old stomping ground. City, who left some major business until the final week of the window as they considered how to replace Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez.

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Josko Gvardiol was the top target and once he was signed attention returned to bolstering the forward options. A right winger appeared the obvious necessity, given the missing goals with Mahrez' departure and Phil Foden's apparent destiny to finally play a central role.

So when it transpired City were instead targeting another attacking midfielder in Paqueta, eyebrows were raised. Not only would his signing suggest Foden would be back on the flanks, but the Irons playmaker was hardly a name that screamed City calibre.

Paqueta had enjoyed a very good debut season at West Ham, playing a crucial role in the Europa Conference League win, but he didn't exactly set the world alight. A creative spark in a mid-table side but nothing suggested he was better than what City already had or if he could make the significant jump.

When you consider West Ham wanted a significant profit on the club-record fee of £55m they spent a year ago, the deal didn't make