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Premier League attacker Ayoze Perez reveals Barcelona interest

3:46 AM GMT+4 06/07/2017
Ayoze Perez
The 23-year-old had the opportunity to ditch the North East for Camp Nou following the Magpies' relegation from the top flight, but opted to stay put

Barcelona were interested in signing Newcastle forward Ayoze Perez last summer, the player has revealed.

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Following relegation from the Premier League in 2015, Newcastle were faced with losing a number of their star players, with Perez linked with a move away from St James' Park.

The likes of Moussa Sissoko, Georginio Wijnaldum and Andros Townsend all re-joined top-flight clubs, with Perez remaining in the North East and making 36 Championship appearances for Rafa Benitez's side.

The 23-year-old did have the opportunity to leave the club, however, but says he was never interested in departing despite the offer of a move to Camp Nou on the table.

"I only think of Newcastle, it is true that there was interest in Barca but I am here and we have to keep working," Perez told Spanish radio station Cadena SER.

"Thank God there was interest from several teams - for a footballer it is important. 

"It was a disappointing year due to the relegation.

"Things did not go as I wanted but there were still some clubs interested that knocked on the door. 

"It's a good thing but I have my head in Newcastle and we'll see what happens in the future."

Newcastle have since returned to the Premier League, clinching the Championship title on the final day of the 2016-17 season.

And Perez, who scored nine goals last term, believes the Magpies have every right to be excited about life under current manager Benitez.

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"Under Rafa, I think the future will be very interesting," he told The Shields Gazette.

“Let’s see what happens, but it could be a great future. He is very important for us now and next season.”