Barcelona have joined the race to sign highly-rated Brazil international Lucas Paquetá but the La Liga giants will face stiff competition from Italian clubs AC Milan and Juventus, according to recent reports.
The 21-year-old currently plays his club football with Flamengo in the Brasileirão, the top flight of professional football in Brazil, and his recent performances with the Mengão has caught the attention of some of Europe’s biggest clubs.
It has most recently been claimed that two if Italy’s biggest clubs could go toe to toe for Paquetá’s signature after AC Milan and Juventus were alerted to his €50m release clause, although talks are believed to be underway to increase that to an estimated €70m.
However, reports from Spanish outlet Sport suggest Barcelona will look to hijack the tug of war between Milan and Juve by launching a bid of their own. Paquetá is believed to be one of the club’s top targets as they plan on continuing to reinforce their midfield.
Paquetá has been used at times as a left or right winger during the Copa Libertadores, but the youngster is predominantly used as an attacking midfielder – a position he has occupied throughout Flamengo’s league campaign.
The youngster has even been called up into Tite’s national team and Paquetá made his competitive debut for the Seleção as a second half substitute during a 2-0 win over the USMNT on September 8.
Barcelona have been very impressed with how quickly summer signing Arthur, who arrived from Brazilian side Grêmio, has adapted to life in Catalonia and that is believed to ease any concerns that Barça have over how Paquetá will transition in La Liga.