Newcastle's Rafa Benitez expresses interest in Arsenal's Lucas Perez
Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez could be ready to offer Lucas Perez a way out of Arsenal after confirming his interest in the forward.
Perez wants to leave the Emirates Stadium after just one season and Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has said he will not stand in his way after signing Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon this summer.
While Perez has been mainly linked with a return to Deportivo La Coruna, Benitez said that he has been monitoring his fellow Spaniard as well.
"I like the player because I have good friends in A Coruna," Benitez said after Sunday's 2-0 friendly win over Hellas Verona. "I know that he did really well. He's come here and not played in many games, but I like the player."
Newcastle are getting ready for their first season back in the Premier League after a year in the Championship, and Benitez said he is still hoping to strengthen his squad before the end of the transfer window.
"We know what we need and will try to do it until the end of the transfer window," he said. "We are now trying to work in different directions at the time."
Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.