Newcastle boss Benitez confirms interest in want-away Arsenal striker Lucas

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The Spanish striker is looking for a way out of Emirates Stadium and could be offered an escape route by another Premier League manager

Lucas Perez wants out of Arsenal and Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez admits that he would welcome a deal for the striker.

Goal revealed last week that the Spaniard has handed in a formal transfer request after growing disillusioned with life at Emirates Stadium.

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Despite being snapped up for a fee of over £17 million, Lucas was restricted to just 21 appearances in his debut campaign with the Gunners – with only two of those outings being Premier League starts.

He did manage seven goals in his sporadic showings, though, and Magpies boss Benitez has confirmed that he is keeping a close eye on a proven frontman.

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“I like the player because I have good friends in A Coruna,” the manager told reporters after a friendly victory over Verona.

“I know that he did really well. He’s come here and not played in many games, but I like the player.”

Lucas Perez Arsenal

He added: “We know what we need and will try to do it until the end of the transfer window.

“We are now trying to work in different directions.”

While Newcastle are eager to keep Lucas in the Premier League, he has also been heavily linked with a return to Deportivo La Coruna just 12 months after leaving their books.

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It is understood that Arsenal are looking to recoup around £13 million from any deal, with Arsene Wenger having previously admitted that the forward could be moved on – and revealed after a Community Shield success on Sunday that further sales are set to be sanctioned in the coming weeks.

Arsenal have bolstered their attacking ranks with the signing of Alexandre Lacazette this summer, with that big-money deal nudging Lucas even further down the pecking order and closer to the Emirates exit door.

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