Deportivo La Coruna is desperate to sign Arsenal misfit Lucas Perez
Deportivo La Coruna president Tino Fernandez intends to travel to London this week to meet Arsenal executives in a last attempt to lure Lucas Perez back to the La Liga club, according to local reports.
Perez joined the Gunners last summer in a £17 million transfer from Deportivo but is open to leaving after growing frustrated over a lack of first-team opportunities.
Depor have monitored the 28-year-old's situation and A Coruna-based newspaper La Opinion de Galicia reports that Fernandez is hoping to directly negotiate with the Gunners to make a €12m deal happen.
Moreover, Fernandez is in contact with Perez's agent, Rodrigo Fernandez Lovelle.
Fernandez had labelled Perez's potential return a "very difficult negotiation" with other European clubs tracking the player, but he insisted his club would "continue to fight" to bring him home.
But AS now reports that Depor are the only club still in contention to sign him, with both Newcastle and Fenerbahce having ended their interest.
Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez had wanted Perez, but he is reportedly on the verge of acquiring Joselu from Stoke City instead. Fenerbahce, meanwhile, agreed to sign Roberto Soldado from Villarreal last week.
Perez was one of the key players in La Liga in 2015-16, scoring 17 goals and setting up eight more in 35 starts for Depor, who begin this season's campaign at home to defending champions Real Madrid on Sunday.
Depor coach Pepe Mel is trying to be patient in his pursuit of Perez, who is tied to Arsenal until June 2020.
"We are pointing high and that takes time," Mel said of the Perez deal. "We would have liked for things to move faster but in order to bring in the players that we want, we need to be patient."
Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.