Newcastle move for Arsenal’s Lucas Perez hits stumbling block

Lucas Perez fires home for Arsenal away to Bournemouth last season.
Lucas Perez fires home for Arsenal away to Bournemouth last season.

Newcastle United are keen on Arsenal’s Lucas Perez – but only at the right price.

Rafa Benitez is desperate to sign another striker this summer.

And the club is understood to have registered its interest in Perez, who has lost the No 9 jersey at Arsenal to £52million new signing Alexandre Lacazette.

Newcastle, however, have NOT made a firm offer for the 28-year-old, who scored seven goals in all competitions for Arsenal last season.

Arsenal are reportedly demanding £13.4million for Perez, who made 21 appearances in all competitions last term.

United, prepared to look at loans as well as permanent deals between now and the end of the transfer window, have baulked at some of the figures mentioned, though Benitez remains hopeful that a deal can be done for Perez.

However, Perez, also wanted by former club Deportivo La Coruna, would have to moderate his wages demands to facilitate a move to Newcastle.

United – who take on Wolfsburg at the AOK Stadion this afternoon (3pm kick-off BST) – would be prepared to take Perez on loan.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has insisted that Perez remains in his plans for the coming season, though Rodrigo Fernandez Lovelle, Perez’s agent, expects the player to leave before the transfer window closes.

“If he said Lucas was leaving, he (Wenger) would have to cut the price for him to exit,” said Lovelle. “It is logical (to say he’s staying). He is a good businessman.”

Newcastle have signed five players so far this summer, but Benitez still needs to strengthen a number of key positions.

The manager, working to a comparatively tight budget, also needs to trim his squad, having admitted last week that he has “too many” players.

Massadio Haidara’s proposed move to Saint-Etienne has collapsed, while his defensive colleague Curtis Good has returned from an unsuccessful trial at Dutch club PEC Zwolle.

Meanwhile, Benitez and his players travelled to Germany yesterday ahead of the Wolfsburg game.