By Harry Sykes
Lucas Perez’ agent has accused Arsenal of trying to price his client out of the market, with Newcastle reportedly interested in a move.
Perez wants to leave the north London club as he’s not guaranteed first-team football and Benitez is reportedly interested in bringing him to Newcastle.
The Chronicle report that the Gunners are holding out for £13.5million which is causing clubs, including Newcastle and former team Deportivo La Coruna to baulk.
The Chronicle claim that Deportivo have already had a £10.8million offer rejected by Arsenal.
Benitez admitted that he liked Perez after Newcastle beat Hellas Verona 2-0 in a pre-season friendly.
“I like the player because I have good friends in A Coruña,” Benitez said.
“I know that he did really well. He’s come here and not played in many games, but I like the player.”
Now, Perez’s agent, Rodrigo Fernandez Lovelle, has gone on record about what he thinks is an unrealistic price tag set by Arsenal.
“Lucas wants to play but it depends on Arsenal,” said Lovelle.
“Arsenal want more [money]. We want to leave but if there is no agreement he has a contract with Arsenal. The ideal price is about €12m (£10.8m).”
Football Insider verdict:
This is a bit of an odd one. Perez’ agent claims that £13.5m is an unrealistic price yet only one year ago Perez moved to Arsenal for £18million from Deportivo La Coruna. Deportivo want him back but are only willing to pay £10.8m, making a big profit on the deal. Coincidentally, that is the exact amount his agent now believes is realistic. Perez might not have played much for Arsenal but he looked good when he got on the pitch and his stock hasn’t fallen that much. This is obviously his agent agitating for a move, which is likely to frustrate Arsenal and make them dig in on their valuation – which would still involve them taking a £4.5m hit. Newcastle desperately need a striker and Perez would fit the bill perfectly. But Benitez has been having problems getting his finance people to sign off on deals. In the middle of all of this we feel sorry for Perez, who has done nothing wrong and just wants to play football.
In other Newcastle transfer news, this 2016 summer signing is keen on a switch to Serie A.