Calciomercato.com claim that Genoa have set their sights on securing the services of Lucas Perez next season on loan.
Lucas has not enjoyed the fairytale return to Deportivo he would have been dreaming about when he left Arsenal after just one season.
Back in March, Lucas Perez’s agent told Spanish media his client’s return to Deportivo wasn’t the best decision, after the 29-year-old was jeered by his own fans.
Rodrigo Fernandez Lovelle spoke to Spanish radio station Cadena Cope about the move. Whilst he wouldn’t go as far as saying they regret the decision, he admitted they didn’t make the best choice.
“You don’t regret it [returning to Deportivo], but obviously it was not the best step,” Lovelle said. “It’s true that, looking at the situation, it was not the best decision.
“I still think he (Perez) would have taken the same decision because he is a Deportivo fan. Lucas has too much love and respect for this jersey and he would never say if he did regret returning.
“The player is sad because he came with all the enthusiasm and turned down better offers from a sporting and financial standpoint, because his dream was to return home.
“The season is not going individually and collectively as he had hoped for. He took a risk knowing that coming here it would have been more difficult for him to return to the [Spain] national team, and it hasn’t gone well.”
Genoa are not the only side interested in taking Lucas.
Benfica are also being linked but would only be able to afford a loan as his €3m-a-year (net) wages would cause them a problem financially.
Despite impressing when he got a chance with Arsenal, it was clear that Arsene Wenger didn’t fancy him as a player.
A hero when he left Deportivo, they even offered him a massive long-term deal to keep him at the club. He rejected their offer and headed to London.
Six goals and five assists in 32 La Liga games is a very poor return from a player who scored 17 (with 10 assists) the season before he joined Arsenal.
It seems unlikely Deportivo will extend his stay into next season.
His agent, however, does not seem to think a permanent move to Benfica would be viable.
Rodrigo Lovelle told O Jogo, “The Portuguese clubs can’t afford the three million euros net that he receives and which he cannot abdicate. For the Portuguese reality, you can only fit in the context of a loan.”
Of course, now that Wenger is leaving, there is the possibility that he could return to Arsenal to try and fight for a place under the new manager.
Speaking last summer when Wenger signed his new deal, Lucas’s agent said, “If everything is still the same and the coach is the same, in theory the opportunities are going to be the same, few, and our idea is to leave. We know that Arsenal is the ‘owner’ of the player, and that contract says that its duration is three more seasons.”
Any decision about his future will not be taken until a new manager is in place and he has had a chance to chat with the 29-year-old.
Arsenal have 15 players out on loan this season and you can read about how they have all done this season by clicking next…
In total, Arsenal sent 15 players on loan this season between the summer and January windows, so let’s take a look at how those spells are going for each of them.
by Dan Critchlow