Spanish top flight sides Valencia and Villareal have both shown interest in securing the services of Newcastle United forward Ayoze Perez, according to a report.

Football news website Gol Digital claim that the La Liga pair are both willing to take the 24-year-old back to his homeland, which he left back in 2014 to join the Magpies from Tenerife.

It is said that Newcastle’s poor form this season has led to the attacking midfielder, who can also operate as a centre forward, considering his future on Tyneside, with a move back to Spain his preferred destination if the club were to be relegated.

A favourite of Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez, Perez started the club’s opening 10 league games this season, and has appeared in 18 out of a possible 20 top flight outings, 13 comings as starts.

He has 135 appearances, 26 goals and 10 assists for the Magpies under his belt, although has netted just once during the current campaign.

Football Insider verdict

News of Spanish clubs taking an interest in Perez should come as no surprise, as they look to tempt him back home to compete in his country’s top flight. He has failed to shine this season, perhaps due to the tactics employed by Benitez, but he has proven himself to be a favourite of the manager, meaning securing a departure may prove difficult. He seemed to settle well on Tyneside following his move back in 2014, despite being a young talent moving from his home town club for the first time, and he will no doubt have roots in the north east as well as back in Spain. The Spanish contingent built up by Benitez, including the coaching staff as well as Mikel Merino, Joselu and Javier Manquillo, means homesickness is unlikely, so a move is likely to be solely for footballing reasons.

In other Newcastle United transfer news, the club must blow their Premier League rivals out the water to snap up the perfect January signing.

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