Lucas Paquetá will push for West Ham to let him join Manchester City, who are preparing a bid to sign the Brazil midfielder. Pep Guardiola is looking to strengthen in midfield and Paquetá is interested in joining the treble winners.

West Ham, who have reached agreements in principle to sign the Manchester United defender Harry Maguire and the Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse for £30m each, have sold Declan Rice and are reluctant to lose another key player. They have knocked back an initial approach from City for Paquetá, saying it fell below their expectations, but the European champions are expected to return with an offer of £70m.

It is likely to take more for West Ham to consider selling Paqueta. The Brazil international’s contract contains an £85m release clause that does not become active until next summer. However, it is understood that Paquetá, who scored five goals last season and provided the assist for Jarrod Bowen’s winner against Fiorentina in the Europa Conference League final, has grown unsettled and is considering his future. The attacking midfielder, who became West Ham’s record signing when he joined from Lyon for £51m last summer, is understood to be unimpressed with the club’s struggle to fill the hole left by Rice’s £105m move to Arsenal.

Paquetá, who became a favourite at the London Stadium after a slow start, does not want to be involved in another relegation battle and has concerns over West Ham’s ambition. West Ham fear it will be difficult to convince the 25-year-old to ignore the lure of playing for Guardiola. There is concern over how the player will react if denied a move.

There have been times, however, when Paquetá has not looked suited to the style under David Moyes. West Ham are at their most dangerous when absorbing pressure and looking to hit on the counterattack. Paquetá would arguably be more effective in a side that dominate possession.

That would be the case at City, who have space in midfield after Ilkay Gündogan went to Barcelona on a free transfer. City have signed Mateo Kovacic from Chelsea and were interested in Rice before he joined Arsenal for £105m. They European champions have also lost Riyad Mahrez to the Saudi Pro League and could go for Crystal Palace’s Michael Olise, who is also a target for Chelsea.

West Ham have endured frustration since selling Rice but are poised to announce the Ajax midfielder Edson Álvarez as their first summer signing and have been boosted by the deals struck for Maguire and Ward‑Prowse.

They have an agreement in principle on the fee for Maguire and are due to discuss personal terms with the centre-back. The 30-year-old has fallen out of favour under Erik ten Hag, who has stripped of him of the captaincy, and needs to move to try to protect his England place.

The move for Ward-Prowse was close to falling apart last week, with West Ham unwilling to go higher than £30m for the 28-year-old. They revived their interest after having a bid for Scott McTominay rejected by United. They are still paying £30m for Ward-Prowse but the payment terms are different.