Rafa Benitez has confirmed that Newcastle are indeed interested in signing Lucas Perez from Arsenal this summer.

There have been several reports in the last few weeks linking the experienced forward with a move to St James’ Park, and it looks as though Benitez is a big admirer of his compatriot.

Arsenal are willing to let Perez leave the club this summer, with first-team chances looking to be limited ahead of the upcoming season.

Since his move from Deportivo La Coruna only last summer, Perez has failed to really impose himself on the English game and has struggled to force his way into Arsene Wenger’s plans.

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Benitez, as quoted by the Evening Standard, admitted his interest in Arsenal’s £17m signing:

I like the player because I have good friends in La Coruna. I know that he did really well. He’s come here and not played in many games, but I like the player.

It’s been claimed by several reputable outlets that Arsenal would welcome offers of £13.4m and upwards, which would certainly burn a hole in Newcastle’s pockets.

However, the Magpies are after a new striker, and Benitez appears to be favouring a move for the Arsenal man.