Paqueta called ‘desperate’ for Guardiola greeting before West Ham vs Man City

Lucas Paqueta has been branded ‘desperate’ after being caught embracing Pep Guardiola before West Ham’s defeat to Manchester City.

In the summer, the Brazilian was the subject of interest from City, who were willing to shell out £80million on the midfielder. However, the chances of Paqueta landing a move to the Etihad were reportedly scuppered, at least for now, after it emerged he was the subject of an FA investigation for alleged betting breaches in his homeland. FIFA are also believed to be looking into the matter.

Amid the betting probe, he remains available for selection by David Moyes, although Paqueta was cosying up to his manager’s opposite ahead of kick-off at the London Stadium on Saturday.

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Bizarrely, Paqueta made a point of going over to the City bench and embracing Guardiola and shaking hands with members of the visitors' coaching team. Unsurprisingly, Hammers fans weren’t impressed, with some branding him 'desperate' and accusing him of 'disrespecting' the club.

One fan derided the move, saying: “Paqueta was proper creepy cuddling Guardiola just before kick-off. What an a*** licker.” A second asked: “Why is Paqueta going to greet Guardiola????? So weird.”

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James Murray, writing for the West Ham Zone website, said: “There would have been no harm in him shaking hands with the Spaniard after the match and even having a word with him in private, but to do it before the contest had even started – in plain sight – was disrespectful to the fans and his current employers.”

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Meanwhile, since Saturday, reports have emerged claiming Newcastle are preparing a £52million bid for Paqueta in January. According to Spanish site Fichajes, the investigation into the 26-year-old hasn't deterred Magpies boss Eddie Howe, who is said to be a long-term admirer of the player.

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