By Wayne Veysey

Ayoze Perez is set to lead the exodus of Newcastle United players after today’s Rafael Benitez bombshell, Football Insider has learned.

The Spanish attacking midfielder, 25, opened the door to quitting St James’ Park following a golden end to last season as he suggested the club would field offers for him.

A Newcastle source has told Football Insider that Perez is expected to push for the exit following Benitez’s failure to reach an agreement with the club over a new deal.

The north-east giants announced today that 59-year-old will end his three-and-a-half-year spell as manager when his deal expires at the end of the month.

Perez was among the many Newcastle players who took to their social media accounts to hail Benitez and his staff for their “great work” at their club.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

Perez was a mainstay of the starting XI last season and has played his best football for the club since the January arrival of club-record signing Miguel Almiron.

Football Insider revealed at the end of April that Newcastle will demand £35million for Perez if he quits the club this summer five years after signing from Tenerife for £1.5million.

That would represent a mammoth profit for the Premier League club, although it remains to be seen whether any team would be willing to pay that much for the playmaker, who has scored 48 goals in 195 appearances for Newcastle.

He ended the 2018-19 campaign with a series of matchwinning performances and a glut of goals, including 10 in the Premier League in the second half of the season, six of which came from the final five games.

In other Newcastle United news, it can be REVEALED that the club are in pole position to sign a big name after a major transfer development.