Arsenal's Lucas Perez will make Deportivo La Coruna return - president
Arsenal forward Lucas Perez will return and play for his home club Deportivo La Coruna at some point in the future, according to the La Liga outfit's president Tino Fernandez.
Perez, who is hoping to boost his chances of representing Spain at next year's World Cup, made just two Premier League starts after joining Arsenal last summer in a £17 million transfer from Deportivo and is keen to play in La Liga again.
"I would like for Lucas to return," Fernandez is quoted as saying by Marca. "I've never hidden the fact that if we could [bring him back], we would. If we can do it this year, we will; if not, it will be next year. I'm convinced that he [Perez] will return to Deportivo one day."
Arsenal are reportedly open to selling the 28-year-old this summer, even at £4m less than what they paid for him.
Fernandez admits, however, that it will be difficult for his club to compete with other outfits to acquire Perez this summer.
"It's not easy," he said. "He has a big contract and he is at a club that paid a lot of money for him."
Perez was a reported target of Everton earlier this year but the player wants a move back to his native Spain, with Sevilla, Valencia and Villarreal also potential suitors.
Perez recently told Estadio Deportivo when asked about Sevilla's interest: "Who wouldn't want to [join them]?"
Perez says a move away from the Emirates Stadium is imperative for him to enhance his chances of competing for Spain at the 2018 World Cup.
"My wish is not to spend another year like the one I've had," he said. "Arsenal and the coach [Arsene Wenger] have treated me very well but I want to play. Wenger has been very honest with me and with the World Cup around the corner, what I want is to play and if it can be in Spain, all the better."
Perez has not played for Spain but told La Voz de Galicia: "I know that I can go to the World Cup but in order for that to happen, I must play. Spain coach [Julen Lopetegui] has spoken to some teammates and told them that he would like to call me up [for the national team], but if I don't play...."
Perez impressed in La Liga in the 2015-16 campaign, scoring 17 league goals and setting up eight more in 35 starts for Deportivo.
Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.