Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez is hoping to step up his interest in Lucas Perez – but only if Arsenal lower their asking price for the unsettled striker.
Benitez is looking to bring in more firepower to his squad as he prepares for the club’s return to Premier League football.
And according to the Standard he is keen to snap up Spanish striker Perez, who is looking to escape from his nightmare spell with the Gunners.
But though Arsenal accept the 28-year-old forward wants to leave the Emirates in the pursuit of first team football, they are still demanding a fee of £13.4million for his services.
That fee is not one Benitez is willing to pay as he attempts to piece together a squad capable of ensuring Newcastle consolidate their position back in the top flight.
If a permanent deal is the only one available then Benitez does not want to pay more than £10m, partly because there would be little sell-on value for the player in the future.
Instead, the Toon boss would prefer the Gunners to agree to let the former Deportivo La Coruna star move to Tyneside on a season-long loan deal.
And they believe Arsene Wenger may have to budge from his tough stance with no clubs willing to pay the London side’s asking price.
Perez is desperate to leave Arsenal having struggled for opportunities during his first season with the club following his £17m move last summer.
He scored seven goals in 21 appearances last season, and made no secret of his desire to leave when he met with Wenger at the start of the summer.
Having splashed out £52m to sign Alexandre Lacazette last month, Arsenal opportunities for Perez seem even more remote than before.
Wenger admitted he had not been able to give Perez the chances he deserved, and showed a willingness to let him leave if the right move came up.
But that gesture now looks as though it could be blocked because the Gunners are insisting on such a big transfer fee.
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