West Ham midfielder Lucas Paqueta has been dropped from Brazil’s World Cup qualifying squad amid concerns surrounding an FA and FIFA betting investigation.
The investigation is believed to center on Paqueta being booked in matches, with bets placed in Brazil, and the 25-year-old will now miss World Cup qualifiers against Peru and Bolivia in September.
Brazil Interim head coach Fernando Diniz said: “Paqueta was on the list. He’s a player that I really like. Now is the time for him to solve these problems. People need time to sort things out. these problems. He’s a player I like.”
He was booked nine times for club and country last season.
Paqueta says he hasn’t placed any bets himself and would be shocked by the news.
£80m deal for Paqueta to join Manchester City has almost been agreed and could still happen if the issue is resolved quickly, according to Sky Sports News.
In the meantime, Paqueta is focused on playing for West Ham.
The creative midfielder played a key role in helping the Hammers win the Europa Conference League last season – the club’s first trophy in decades.
The FA and Man City declined to comment. Sky Sports News has also approached Fifa for comment.