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Man City ‘prepare’ second offer for £95m West Ham star

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Manchester City are reportedly set to submit a second bid for West Ham midfielder Lucas Paqueta after seeing an offer worth £70m rejected.

Pep Guardiola is keen to add another midfielder to his squad and has identified the Brazil international as his primary transfer target.

West Ham signed Paqueta from Lyon for a fee of £51m last summer. He has since made 41 appearances across all competitions, scoring five goals and making seven assists in the process.

David Moyes is understandably reluctant to lose another key midfielder, though. The Hammers have already sold star player Declan Rice to Arsenal for £105m this summer.

Moyes recently confirmed in an interview that there ‘had been an offer’ for Paqueta from Man City, but that it was ‘nowhere near’ meeting West Ham’s valuation.

Paqueta has already reached ‘an agreement in principle’ on a six-year contract with the Cityzens. Personal terms, therefore, won’t be an issue, so the only thing left is for Man City to agree a transfer fee.

With £70m not even coming close to West Ham’s price tag, Man City will have to put their money where their mouth is to get a deal over tje line.

According to reputed transfer journalist Fabrizio Romano, Man City will submit a second bid for Paqueta imminently.

On Twitter, he wrote: “Understand Man City are preparing new bid for Lucas Paqueta — negotiations will advance with West Ham.

“Paqueta has reached an agreement on personal terms with City and wants the move. Opening £70m bid rejected but City will submit new one.”

Previous reports suggest West Ham will only accept an offer of £95m for Paqueta. Man City may include one of their players in the deal to reduce that price, though.

As reported by TEAMtalk, Guardiola is considering including Cole Palmer in a part-exchange deal.

The 21-year-old attacking midfielder has bags of potential and has already made 40 appearances for Man City. He also came off the bench in the Cityzens 3-0 victory over Burnley on Friday.

Whether or not Man City will include Palmer in their new bid for Paqueta remains to be seen. If not, it will be interesting to see if West Ham stand firm on their £95m valuation.

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European Leagues

Europa League leading scorers ahead of semi-final fixtures

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Marseille’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the leading scorer in this season’s UEFA Europa League ahead of the semi-final fixtures in May

Marseille’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the leading scorer in this season’s UEFA Europa League ahead of the semi-final fixtures in May.

The former Arsenal captain is ahead of Roma’s Romelu Lukaku and Brighton’s João Pedro on the goal chart.

The Gabonese has ten goals to his name so far.

UEFA Europa League top scorers ahead of semi-final fixtures:

10 goals – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Marseille)

7 goals – Romelu Lukaku (Roma)

6 goals – João Pedro (Brighton)

5 goals – Victor Boniface (Leverkusen), Michael Gregoritsch (Freiburg), Viktor Gyökeres (Sporting CP), Fotis Ioannidis (Panathinaikos), Juninho (Qarabağ), Mohammed Kudus (West Ham), Darwin Núñez (Liverpool), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Gianluca Scamacca (Atalanta) and Patrik Schick (Leverkusen).

Meanwhile, Marseille will face Atalanta in the semi-final stage, while Bayer Leverkusen will tackle AS Roma.

 

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Liverpool defeat Atalanta 1-0 but crash out of Europa League on aggregate

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Liverpool were knocked out of the Europa League by Atalanta with the Italian side reaching the semi-finals 3-1 on aggregate on Thursday.

Liverpool were knocked out of the Europa League by Atalanta with the Italian side reaching the semi-finals 3-1 on aggregate on Thursday.

Atalanta are in the last four of a European competition for the first time since 1988, despite Mohamed Salah’s early penalty giving Liverpool a 1-0 second leg win, thanks to their three-goal lead established in the quarter-final first leg at Anfield last week.

In what is becoming a sobering climax to the season, Liverpool have won just three of their last nine games in all competitions and again looked tired after already having played 52 games this campaign.

Jurgen Klopp may well only have the League Cup to show for his final season on Merseyside as the German’s team have been eliminated from the FA Cup and Europa League and trail Manchester City in the Premier League title race.

Gian Piero Gasperini called Thursday’s match probably the most important Atalanta had ever played and his players were hailed as heroes at the final whistle by a pulsating crowd at the Gewiss Stadium in Bergamo.

Fireworks were shot into the air from behind the stands while in the ground supporters bounced and roared at a huge victory for their team against giants of European football.

Atalanta last reached the semi-finals of a European competition in 1988 when they were knocked out of the old Cup Winners’ Cup by Mechelen.

Atalanta were then a Serie B team but the future is increasingly bright for a historically small, provincial club which has been punching well above its weight ever since Gasperini took charge in 2016.

Reaching the last four even trumps their run to 2020 Champions League quarter-finals, where they were desperately unlucky to lose to Paris Saint-Germain.

That run came at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, as Bergamo became the epicentre of a deadly global health crisis.

And Atalanta still have the opportunity to crown Gasperini’s reign with the club’s first major trophy since the Italian Cup in 1963.

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Bayer Leverkusen qualify for Europa League semis after edging West Ham

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Newly-crowned Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen reached the Europa League semi-finals on Thursday and stretched their undefeated

Newly-crowned Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen reached the Europa League semi-finals on Thursday and stretched their undefeated run in all competitions this season to 44 matches.

The German side drew 1-1 at West Ham in the second leg of their quarter-final tie and went through 3-1 on aggregate.

Michail Antonio put West Ham ahead on 13 minutes before Jeremie Frimpong levelled in the 89th minute for Xabi Alonso’s side.

Bayer Leverkusen will face Roma for a place in the final.

“I think we felt it in the first half, for me, it was a typical English crowd. They were pushing West Ham unbelievably. We were lucky in the first half if we’re honest,” Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Granit Xhaka told TNT Sports.

“It was a different phase in the second half, we controlled the game. We are happy we got through.

“We competed much more. If you see over 180 minutes, the better team go through.”

Last weekend, Bayer Leverkusen won the Bundesliga for the first time, ending Bayern Munich’s 11-year grip on the title.

They remain in contention for a treble trophy haul this season as they also face second-division Kaiserslautern in the German Cup final on May 25.

 

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