The 20-year-old is rated as one of the country’s most prodigious talents following a string of outstanding performances for his club Flamengo. It led to Paqueta receiving his first Brazil cap when Tite called him up for the recent friendlies against the USA and El Salvador.
A professional for two seasons, Paqueta has already made 80 appearances for his club and was named in the Campeonato Carioca – Flamengo’s regional championship – team of the year for 2018.
City are well ahead of United in the chase, having scouted the player extensively. It’s understood they are willing to trigger the reported £40m release clause in his contract, signed in 2016.
It’s hoped that Gabriel Jesus’ success at the Etihad will inspire Paqueta to opt for the Premier League champions rather than rivals Liverpool, who are similarly keen to land the youngster.
Such is his standing in Brazilian football, the attacking midfielder who can also play on the wing, is likened to Kaka, the former Brazilian superstar. High praise indeed and enough to draw his attention to Jose Mourinho.
The Red Devils boss, already at loggerheads with CEO Ed Woodward over transfer policy, may find his biggest hurdle is not persuading Flamengo to sell but United to buy.