West Ham confirm club-record signing of Paqueta


West Ham United have completed the signing of midfielder Lucas Paqueta for a club-record fee, believed to be worth an initial £36.7m plus £14.5m in add-ons.

The 25-year-old, who passed his medical with the Hammers on Sunday, has put pen to paper on a five-year contract at the London Stadium, and he has the option to extend his deal by a further year.

David Moyes’s side have now spent in excess of £170m on eighth summer signings, with the addition of Paqueta following the permanent arrivals of Nayef Aguerd, Alphonse Areola, Flynn Downes, Gianluca Scamacca, Maxwel Cornet, Thilo Kehrer and Emerson Palmieri.

Speaking to West Ham’s official website on his arrival at the club, Paqueta said: “I am extremely happy to be here. I hope it’s the beginning of an enjoyable journey. I hope my time here is successful.

“Last season, West Ham had a very good season and I hope they continue to enjoy more and more good seasons in my time at the club.

“I am excited to pull on the West Ham shirt and show the fans what I can do, to help my team-mates and the club.”

Moyes added: “I’m delighted to welcome Lucas to West Ham. He’s a player I’ve admired from afar for a very long time and of course, we saw him close up in our Europa League campaign last season.

“He’s a very talented footballer and whilst he will need time to adapt to the Premier League, we’re excited about adding another proven international to our squad.”

Born in Rio de Janeiro, Paqueta began his career with Brazilian giants Flamengo before moving to Europe in 2019 to join AC Milan.

The attacking midfielder endured a difficult 18-month spell at San Siro, but he elevated his game to new heights in Ligue 1 with Lyon, who he joined in the summer of 2020.

Paqueta made a total of 80 appearances for the French outfit across all competitions, scoring 21 goals and providing 14 assists, including 18 goal contributions in 44 games last season.

The 33-cap Brazil international – who will be hoping to represent his country at the World Cup in Qatar later this year – played against West Ham in both legs of their Europa League quarter-final clash last season, which saw the Hammers advance 4-1 on aggregate.

It remains to be seen whether Paqueta, who will wear the No.11 shirt at West Ham, has been registered in time to face London rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday, but should he miss the midweek Premier League contest, he could instead make his debut on Saturday when the Hammers travel to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea.

Meanwhile, West Ham remains in talks with Club Brugge to sign midfielder Hans Vanaken, while they are also keeping tabs on Atalanta BC’s Ruslan Malinovskyi and Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher.