Monday, 4 September 2017

Where now for Lucas Perez?

This year’s transfer window seems to have been swinging open forever, and with just days left till it closes, there are still plenty of unanswered questions. Among the most compelling is exactly where Spanish striker Lucas Perez will be playing his football in the coming months. 

The 28 year old has made it clear that he wishes to put his spell at the Emirates Stadium behind him, and a return to Deportivo La Coruna seemed a logical choice. However, the problem comes down to the money. Arsenal are rumoured to be seeking around £13 million for the striker, and Deportivo appear unwilling or unable to stump up anything close.

Will he stay or will he go?

As time slips by, the chances of him going nowhere are increasing by the hour, as negotiations between The Gunners and Deportivo have reached an impasse. However, do not rule out a late move by La Liga new boys Levante, who are rumoured to have shown an interest, and are certainly in the market for a proven attacker to help them retain their place at the highest level.

These days, the question of who will go where is as popular a question among bookmakers as who will beat whom, as fans are eager to demonstrate their knowledge of what goes on behind the scenes with a wager on the transfer market. Take a look here for your best football betting sites, to see what they have to say about Perez’s likely fate. The smart money still appears to be on Deportivo, with odds of 1/2 available, while you can get 4/1 odds if you fancy him to remain at Arsenal for another year. Levante is an 8/1 shot. 

A troubled time

Perez signed for The Gunners last year, joining from Deportivo in a deal worth £17.1 million, amid expectations that he would become a major force for the North London club. Yet the dream has turned into something of a nightmare for all concerned. 

In just 11 Premiership appearances, he has scored just one goal, helping the Gunners recover from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 against Bournemouth back in January. He made only four Championship starts after Christmas 2016, and has not been in the opening line up since February. 

Possible loan deal

With time rapidly running out, Arsenal are unlikely to achieve anything close to the £13 million they are demanding for Galicia’s favourite son. Given that another season making up the numbers on the sub bench is an unappealing prospect for everyone, the most likely outcome will be to see him farmed out on a loan deal with a far more modest price tag involved. 

Sources close to the club say that Deportivo are looking at paying something in the region of £4 million to take him on loan for the coming season, with a view to him formally transferring at a later date. 

For the Gunners, it could be the only show in town, but expect the fans to be up in arms at what will be seen as another example of financial ineptitude by the club.