Ayoze Perez had a storming finish to the season.
The former Tenerife striker scored six goals in his last eight appearances of the campaign, to help Newcastle reach their Premier League safety target with a month to spare.
A number of clubs have subsequently been linked with the 24 year old (turns 25 in July) since the season ended and the weekend has brought fresh claims of interest from both Spain and Italy.
Spanish media claim that both Real Betis and Real Sociedad are looking to take Ayoze Perez into La Liga, whilst Napoli were a new name added to the list in recent days.
Responding to these reports, The Chronicle now say that they understand that ideally Rafa Benitez wants to keep the striker.
Over in Spain they are putting an £18m valuation on Perez as being enough to land him but The Chronicle say that if the player was to move, they want to bank more than that £18m figure.
Difficult to know what any player’s valuation in this transfer market and it is especially difficult to value Ayoze Perez.
You have the player who finished the season scoring six goals in eight games.
Then you have the one who scored only two in the first 28 Premier League matches of last season.
His Newcastle career has followed a similar path overall, long periods of average contribution at best, but hitting runs of goalscoring form occasionally.
His first season (2014/15) saw five PL goals up to and including 28 December 2014 but only two after that date.
The (2015/16) relegation season was almost identical, five goals up to and including 16 January 2016, then only one after that date as Newcastle went down.
The Championship (2016/17) campaign saw him score in only two games (three goals) up to and including 21 January 2017, but then finished the season strongly, a bit like this season just gone, when adding another six goals.
My take on it, is that he is a decent player to have in the squad but too inconsistent to rely on as first choice in the number 10 role.
Newcastle shouldn’t be actively looking to sell him but if they were offered anything like £18m I would snap their hands off.
Whether Ayoze Perez stays or not, Newcastle desperately need another option to be brought in this summer for the number 10 position.