Valencia keen on signing Newcastle star Ayoze Perez

Ayoze Perez Newcastle Leicester City

Valencia are interested in making a move for Newcastle United forward Ayoze Perez.

According to sources close to the club, the Spaniard would be keen on a return to his native country and the Liga side are close to putting together an offer.

Perez intends to leave the Premier League club this summer, especially following the news that manager Rafael Benitez will be exiting once his contract expires at the end of June.

One barrier to any potential move would be the valuation set by Newcastle, with the quoted price of €25 million (£22m/$29m) too high for the Spanish outfit as things stand.

Valencia finished fourth in La Liga last season and qualified for the Champions League as a result, which adds even more appeal to the move for Perez, who has been at Newcastle since 2014.

The 25-year-old was the club’s top scorer across all competitions last season, finding the net 13 times in 41 appearances, with 10 of his 12 league goals coming in the second half of the season.

He has scored 48 goals in 195 appearances for Newcastle since joining the club from Tenerife, with 33 of those coming in the Premier League.

The revelation that Benitez would be leaving the north east came on Monday, as Newcastle announced that he would be departing after the two parties failed to agree terms regarding a contract extension.

A statement on the club’s official website read: "We have worked hard to extend Rafa's contract over a significant period of time.

"However, it has not been - and will not be - possible to reach an agreement with Rafa and his representatives."

The news came as a blow to Magpies supporters, who hold the former Liverpool manager in high regard after he led them back to the Premier League at the first attempt before consolidating their position in the top flight in the following two seasons.

The Champions League-winning boss has been linked with a money-spinning move to Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang, who reportedly offered Benitez a contract worth £12 million ($15m) per year.

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