The FA has begun an investigation into Lucas Paqueta surrounding a potential breach of its betting rules, the BBC has reported.
It is believed that the inquiry refers to the 25-year old Midfielder receiving yellow cards in West Ham games, with the bets being placed through bookmakers in Brazil.
An £80m deal – which would see Paqueta join Man City – is currently on hold until the investigation is complete. Sky Sports stated that Paqueta has denied placing any bets himself, whereas the FA and Man City have declined to comment
Brazilian football coach Fernando Diniz recently said that Paqueta ‘will not be in the squad’ for qualifiers against Bolivia and Peru in September.
He told reporters: “Paqueta was on the list, he’s a player I like a lot. It’s time for him to resolve these issues. People need time to sort these issues out. He’s a player I love, I have the best impressions of him.”
Meanwhile, the player continues his focus on West Ham, who yesterday beat Chelsea 3-1 at home with Paqueta scoring in the 95th minute.
Some sources have also suggested that accounts had been traced back to Paqueta Island in Guanabara Bay – which is where Paqueta grew up.
West Ham has already lost key player Declan Rice in a £105m move to Arsenal this year, as the investigation could cause more concerns for the club.
The news comes not long after Brentford striker Ivan Toney received an eight-month ban from the sport, after admitting to 232 breaches in total of the FA’s betting rules.
In Steven Barlett’s Diary of a CEO podcast – released today – Toney stated: “The bets that were on my team to lose when I wasn’t playing, the majority of those were in the bets that I know – personally I think – I didn’t do.
“But I still took responsibility for them so the whole process could be cleared up.”
He denied placing the bets through somebody else so that the FA wouldn’t see them, but rather that his parents wouldn’t see ‘what he was spending his money on’.