By Callum O'Connell

18th Sep, 2023 | 11:40am

Alan Pardew smashes Lucas Paqueta for Pep Guardiola moment before West Ham United v Manchester City

Alan Pardew has criticised West Ham star Lucas Paqueta for his show of affection towards Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola before the two sides faced each other at the London Stadium on 16 September.

Before the game, Guardiola was captured embracing the Brazilian, after he was heavily linked with a big-money move to Manchester City throughout the summer transfer window.

Pardew has slammed his actions, claiming he should not be doing that sort of thing while he’s a West Ham player, with plenty of fans agreeing that his actions were inappropriate given the circumstances.

Speaking live on talkSPORT‘s The Final Word show on 17 September [8:57 pm], Pardew was asked to comment on the “inappropriate show of affection”, and stated: “I mean they cuddled.

“He [Paqueta] went up to Pep [Guardiola] and cuddled him before the game. You can’t do that when you’re a Hammer. Come on, come on.”

Reactions are slightly overblown

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Frustrations at Paqueta’s actions are fairly understandable, particularly with reports that he was keen on leaving the London Stadium because he desperately wanted to link up with Guardiola in Manchester, but some of the reaction has been overblown.

A hug before a game is hardly the end of the world, particularly as the two would likely have had many conversations over the summer and haven’t seen each other since. While it does seem slightly strange, there’s not much to it.

For now, Paqueta remains a West Ham player. Interest from Manchester City has cooled, with the league Champions opting to sign Matheus Nunes from Wolves instead after the allegations surrounding Paqueta’s involvement in possible betting breaches.

There have since been reports that Newcastle could make a move for the Brazilian, as they are able to offer him Champions League football at St James’ Park this season.

In other West Ham news, Fabrizio Romano has shared an update on Paqueta’s situation.