Lucas Perez looks certain to leave Arsenal this summer,
Starting only two Premier League games last season after a £17m move from Deportivo, the writing is on the wall for the striker.
Sunday brought media claims (see below) that Newcastle had approached Arsenal for the player, trying to outbid his old club Deportivo.
Monday has seen the IBTimes follow that up with news that Arsenal have allegedly given both Deportivo and Newcastle United the price they will deal at on the 28 year old striker.
It is claimed that the Spanish club had offered £9m (10m euros) but IBTimes say that their information is that Arsenal have made known that they want £13.5m (15m euros)
That would represent a loss of £3.5m for Arsenal but it is believed to be out of the reach of Deportivo, a struggling La Liga club with no Champions League cash and a domestic TV deal that pays far less than the Premier League one.
Lucas Perez was left out of Arsenal’s pre-season tour to Australia and China, then saw his number nine shirt handed to new signing Alexandre Lacazette.
Perez’s agent Rodrigo Fernandez Lovelle talking to PA Sport:
“Deportivo made an offer a week ago, it is a permanent deal and worth more than Nolito’s (£8m) move to Sevilla.
“Of course (he was told he would play more). Lucas signed for Arsenal and was the happiest person in the world and with all of his dreams to fulfil. We have seen that every time he played he did well, but after every time he got fewer and fewer
“Arsenal know we want to go, that there are no opportunities here, and within a year there is a World Cup. Would you not be angry and sad and upset if you had your squad number taken without being asked?”
The Mag – 30 July 2017:
When Lucas Perez signed for Arsenal a year ago, fair to say their fans were a little underwhelmed.
Hoping for star signings that were a level above some of their first teamers, the £17m capture puzzled the Gooners, further fanning the flames of the Wenger-out faction.
With only two Premier League starts last season for Lucas Perez, the supporters will feel justified in having doubts about the signing, as he only played 265 minutes of league football in total scoring one goal.
Reports had claimed that the striker will be heading back to Deportivo on loan, not a great option for Arsenal who would be then looking to have to subsidise a substantial part of his wages.
However, Sunday morning sees an ‘exclusive’ claiming that Newcastle have made an approach to Arsenal for Lucas Perez, with the possibility of them buying rather than the North London club having to settle for the loan option and subsidising wages.
The Sun have ran the exclusive and say that Rafa Benitez has turned to his countryman after losing out on other striking options.
The 28 year old was bought by Arsenal on the back of his 17 goals in 35 La Liga starts for Deportivo in 2015/16, when he played alongside a certain Jonas Gutierrez.
Previous to that stand out year though for a struggling Deportivo side who finished 15th in La Liga, Lucas Perez had never before scored double figures in a league season.
Not the most distinguished of careers, Perez started off playing for Rayo Vallecano in the Spanish second tier before moving to Karpaty in the Ukraine for three seasons and then on to PAOK in Greece for only a year.
Arriving back in Spain with Deportivo, Lucas Perez scored six La Liga goals in 20 starts in 2014/15 before then the 17 goal season which attracted Arsenal’s attentions.
The striker did have the odd moment for Arsenal last season, the stand out one when scoring a hat-trick away at Basel in the Champions League as he helped his team to a 4-1 win. Another three sub appearances in the Champions League giving him 136 minutes altogether in Europe last season.
In the domestic cups he also got some football, starting six and coming off the bench once, scoring three goals.
Scoring seven goals in 948 minutes of football for Arsenal isn’t too bad a record but still a limited amount to go on, though he wouldn’t be the first striker to show improved form in his later years.
Rafa Benitez is obviously desperate for a striker and whilst impossible to tell whether any substance in this particular ‘exclusive’, Lucas Perez does fit the profile of somebody who could potentially be within Newcastle’s financial constraints.
Plus you would imagine Arsenal being open to a similar loan with a view to buy deal, as Newcastle have agreed with Borussia Dortmund for Mikel Merino.
The Sun talks of Lucas Perez wanting first team football to try and help make Spain’s World Cup squad next summer but that seems a bit fanciful as the player turns 29 in September and has never represented his country at any level before.