By Will Butcher
Everton are looking to reignite their summer interest and rival Italian giants AC Milan for Arsenal striker Lucas Perez, according to a report.
Perez’s agent Rodrigo Fernandez Lovelle revealed earlier this week to Italian publication Calciomercato that Perez wants to quit the Emirates at the end of the season.
Now, the Daily Mail claim Everton are willing to end Perez’s Emirates Stadium nightmare in the summer, just one season after he joined the Gunners for £17.1million from Deportivo La Coruna.
The Mail also claim that Everton were also interested in Perez in the summer but were pipped to his signature by Arsenal.
Perez, 28, has struggled to gain a first-team slot under manager Arsene Wenger this season with the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott preferred to the Spaniard.
The former Atletico Madrid star has made just two Premier League starts for the north London giants this season, despite scoring seven goals in his 18 league and cup appearances.
The Toffees have little back-up for Belgium international Lukaku at Goodison Park, with Enner Valencia only on loan from West Ham.
That could see Arsenal’s number nine brought to Merseyside as manager Ronald Koeman looks to provide Lukaku with top-quality competition.
Football Insider verdict:
Signing Perez would be a wonderful addition to Everton’s squad as he continues to be somewhat unfairly treated in north London. Perez has shown in his limited appearances that he is deserving of more first-team opportunities under Wenger, with his best moment coming in the Champions League group stage after striking a sublime hat-trick past Swiss champions FC Basel. Able to play in the number 10 role or even out wide if needed, Perez would provide fantastic cover anywhere in the final third for Koeman and could be the difference between Everton finishing in the Premier League’s top six in 2017-18. However, they will have to move quickly as the temptation of living in Milan could put the Italian giants in pole position.
In other Everton transfer news, the Toffees have agreed a deal for this 21-year-old midfielder.