By James Murray

17th Sep, 2023 | 1:10pm

Lucas Paqueta disrespects West Ham United as footage emerges from defeat v Man City

Lucas Paqueta disrespected West Ham with his actions before the game against Manchester City on Saturday (16 September).

The Brazilian international was spotted by the DAZN cameras running over to the bench to shake hands with Pep Guardiola after the Citizens boss tried to sign him over the summer.

It was reported by former RMC Sport journalist Mohamed Bouhafsi on 11 August that the 26-year-old midfielder had agreed a six-year contract with the Premier League champions after holding talks with the Spaniard.

The move to the Etihad Stadium fell through not long after this, however, after Paqueta was alleged to have broken the FA’s laws on gambling.

A fee hadn’t been agreed between the clubs at that point, but the Manchester outfit were believed to be edging closer to reaching West Ham’s £85million valuation after previously seeing a lower offer rejected.

The midfielder was understandably keen on making the switch, as most players would be tempted to join the best side in club football at this moment in time.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

But his actions before the game against Man City on Saturday were completely unacceptable and there’s no surprise to see that the Hammers fans haven’t responded to the footage too well.

The Brazilian went out of his way to run across the pitch to shake hands with Guardiola and other members of his coaching staff right before the kick-off.

That showed that in some part of his mind, he was still very focused on impressing the 52-year-old, who was desperate to sign him during the transfer window.

At that moment in time, Paqueta’s focus should have solely been on the Irons and helping his side try and get a positive result from what was always going to be a difficult game.

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.

The midfielder was superb during the game, though, as he likely felt he still had a point to prove to the Man City hierarchy that he would be a good signing for them.

He was comfortably West Ham’s best player throughout the match, dropping deep to pick up possession at every opportunity and showing a few neat touches on the ball on several occasions.

But it still doesn’t leave a great taste in your mouth to see him going out of his way to greet Guardiola, fuelling the speculation that it’s only a matter of time before he makes the move to the Etihad.

While that may prove to be the case further down the line, he is still very much our player for now and should be acting differently before stepping out onto the pitch in a claret and blue shirt.

In other West Ham news, Antonio has shared his verdict on what some “cheeky” fans said to one Hammers player.