Rafa Benitez has revealed an amusing tête-à-tête with Arsene Wenger that took place when the two crossed paths at yesterday’s pre-season meeting of Premier League managers.
The Spaniard, who is understood to hold an interest in signing Lucas Perez this summer, apparently attempted to broach the subject only to be met with the Frenchman’s sharp wit.
This is what Benitez said on BT Sport today about the chat: “I was talking with Arsene yesterday because we had the managers’ meeting with the Premier League.”
“I said ‘listen, we have to talk’ and he said ‘do you have some money? Let me know’.”
“Obviously you like good players, but it’s too soon to talk about that.”
Arsene Wenger has already confirmed that Perez will be allowed to leave the Emirates this summer, however, the Gunners are refusing to sell unless their €15 million valuation is met.
A bid in the region of €9 million from the striker’s former club Deportivo La Coruna has already been rejected but their president has suggested they could return with a second offer.
Speaking to Galicia de Goles [translated by Sport Witness], Deportivo’s president, Tino Fernandez said:
“Nothing is impossible, but we have a limit. We’re going to continue to fight. He really wants to come here. We can’t sit around hoping, however, and we’re looking at other targets, meaning we’ll have to make a decision. It’s an important position for us”.
Perez is desperate to seal a move soon in the hope of gaining the regular first team football that could bolster his outside chances of making Spain’s World Cup squad. It remains to be seen whether newly-promoted Newcastle is a destination that appeals.
According to @Gunnerblog, that may not be the case…
My understanding is that there are only a couple of clubs in England Lucas would be interested in joining – and Newcastle aren’t one.
— gunnerblog (@gunnerblog) August 9, 2017
With three weeks left of the transfer window, there’s still time for a few more twists and turns. Lucas has been quite the wanderer during his career to date so you get the sense everything is on the table…