As the tedious Rondon saga drags on, Benitez may be forced explore other striker options – and one I’m fully expecting him to revisit is a deal for Lucas Perez.
With Unai Emery now at the helm at Arsenal, there may be a few players surplus to requirements at the Emirates. We were linked with a loan move for Danny Welbeck yesterday, but it’s Perez that seems like the far more likely option to me.
He was a key target for Rafa last summer (see interview here where he confirms his interest) but we ended up missing out on his signature, with his heart set on a return to Spain.
He spent the year on loan with Deportivo and despite being their stand out player, bagging 9 goals & 8 assists in a struggling team, he couldn’t stop them from being relegated. They now can’t afford him and he’s back at Arsenal.
Unai Emery seems to be giving him a shot in pre-season, but it seems very likely that he’s made available towards the end of the window (He’s not going to get in ahead of Lacazzete/Aubameyang realistically?) and this may be the chance for Newcastle to step in with a late move.
He’s 29, so it doesn’t quite fit into Ashley’s policy, but he’d be much cheaper than the likes of Salomon Rondon and is quite a bit more versatile too. He can play up top, out wide and off the striker and he’ll most probably be made available on loan (or on a permanent for no more than £10m), so there’s quite a lot here that would appeal to Benitez and NUFC in our current circumstances.
One to watch with interest over the next few weeks…