By Pete O’Rourke
Lucas Perez is in advanced talks to join Alaves after Manuel Pellegrini gave him the green light to quit West Ham, Football Insider understands.
The manager was left infuriated by the 30-year-old striker at various times and told him he could leave this summer if a buyer could be found.
A West Ham source has told Football Insider that Perez is close to sealing a return to his native Spain by signing for Alaves, who finished 11th in La Liga in the recently-completed campaign.
Perez joined West Ham from Arsenal last summer but has struggled to secure a regular first-team place, making just four Premier League starts among 19 appearances in his debut campaign.
He scored a creditable six goals but Pellegrini was critical of the player’s all-round game and ability to link the play, publicly claiming “Lucas has a lot to learn”.
He has two years remaining on his Hammers contract but he looks likely to be the latest senior departure from the London Stadium.
West Ham announced earlier this week that high-profile trio Andy Carroll, Samir Nasri and Adrian were all leaving after being released at the end of their contract.