Paqueta Suffering Over FA Betting Charges

New West Ham manager Julen Lopetegui says Lucas Paqueta is "suffering" in the wake of his Football Association betting charges.

Paqueta is facing a lengthy suspension after being hit with six FA charges in May, four which centre around yellow cards the Brazilian is alleged to have intentionally picked up. The other two charges relate to allegations of not complying with the FA investigation.

The 26-year-old is yet to be given a hearing date but is presently playing at the Copa America.

Paqueta scored, claimed an assist and missed a penalty in Brazil’s 4-1 win over Paraguay in Las Vegas on Friday.

West Ham technical director Tim Steidten visited the playmaker on a trip to Brazil prior to the Copa America starting last month.

And Lopetegui can only be thankful Paqueta at least looked happy on the pitch at Allegiant Stadium.

“We know he and his family are suffering a lot,” said Lopetegui.

“We are looking forward to him being here with us. We are his family in England and we are going to take care of him.

“I liked it when I saw him smiling in the last match because he was enjoying playing football.”

Steidten said the FA has told West Ham that Paqueta will be free to play until the conclusion of his case.

Meanwhile, Lopetegui said he was "crossing his fingers" over the fitness of influential midfielder Edson Alvarez.

The Mexico captain suffered a serious hamstring injury in his country’s opening Copa America game against Jamaica on 22 June.

He has stayed with his national team in the United States for the first part of his rehabilitation work and will return to England for the remainder.

"We are crossing our fingers," said Lopetegui. "We suffered a big injury with Edson. It is not good news for him and us because he is an important player."