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Newcastle striker Perez snubbed Real Madrid & Barcelona in the past but plans La Liga move

15:55 GMT 14/03/2019
Ayoze Perez Newcastle 2018-19
The Magpies frontman admits that he intends to head home at some stage, while he is also determined to earn himself a senior call-up by Spain

Ayoze Perez turned down Barcelona and Real Madrid in the past, but the Newcastle striker has revealed that he intends to make a move to La Liga at some stage.

After bursting onto the scene in his native Spain with second-tier outfit Tenerife, a highly-rated frontman became a much sought-after asset.

Clasico rivals wanted to secure his signature in 2014, but Perez opted to head for England at St James’ Park.

A five-year spell with Newcastle has not always been easy, but the 25-year-old is looking to move into double figures in terms of goals scored for a third successive season and has seen his value rise once more.

The Magpies are hoping to retain his services for the foreseeable future, but a homecoming forms part of Perez’s long-term plan.

He told Marca: “I am very grateful to Newcastle - I have grown and matured here, but it is obvious that someday I would like to come back and play in La Liga.

“To this day, I do not know [what the future holds]. I hope something very good. I believe that I have shown my merit during these five years so that a good opportunity presents itself.”

Perez has six Premier League goals to his name this season and seven in total, with five of those efforts coming since the turn of the year.

Former Liverpool star Luis Garcia has suggested that the Newcastle frontman deserves a senior international call-up, having previously won two U21 caps.

Recognition from La Roja is something Perez is hoping to achieve at some stage, with there a desire on his part to continue stepping up in class.

“I appreciate the words of Luis Garcia," he added. "I know how big it is and it means a lot to me.

“He sees me play and he knows that I have not always been able to develop my football; he knows how much I sacrifice myself and that, in the five years that I have been here, I have always tried to give the maximum.

“I work to be there [in the Spain squad] some day. Obviously, I know it's complicated because there are many top-level players, but I try to show that I can be there.

“Of course [I feel ready to represent my country]. I am ready and I have tremendous hope of being able to see myself in a Spain squad. It would be incredible for me. I will keep fighting and hope it happens.”

Newcastle and Perez will be back in Premier League action against Bournemouth on Saturday, with Spain then taking in Euro 2020 qualification clashes with Norway and Malta during the international break.