Newcastle braced for big-money bid for talented forward

Newcastle United are braced for a bid from Barcelona for Ayoze Perez.

Thursday, 28th July 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 28th July 2016, 9:49 am
Ayoze Perez

The forward is preparing for the new Championship campaign on Tyneside.

But Barcelona, looking for back-up to Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, are considering a £15million bid for him.

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The 23-year-old was a target for the La Liga club before signing for Newcastle from Tenerife two years ago.

Perez reiterated his commitment to United in the wake of relegation.

And the Spain Under-21 international told the Gazette earlier this month he was “focused” on the start of the Championship season.

“I already said when the team went down that I would try to come back to the Premier League (with Newcastle),” said Perez. “That’s it. I’m focused. I’m here.”

However, Perez, understandably, is interested in a move to Barcelona, who are set to lose out on Luciano Vietto.

Vietto, unwilling to take a supporting role at the Nou Camp, is poised to join Europa League holders Sevilla.

Barcelona have also considered ex-United forward Hatem Ben Arfa as well as Kevin Gameiro, Tony Sanabria, Nolito and Ousmane Dembele for the role.

However, Perez is understood to be interested in the vacant role at Barcelona, but he will NOT force a move from Newcastle.

United manager Rafa Benitez admitted last week that the club would consider offers for players, but he added that he was ready to block moves for key players.

Asked about speculation over the future of midfielder Moussa Sissoko, Benitez said: “If someone comes with a right offer, we have to listen.

“But we don’t have to sell. We will try to keep a strong squad.

“Some players, maybe, will be waiting for a big offer (from) a top side in the Premier League or in Europe, but if they have to stay, they have to stay. That’s it.”