Tuttomercatoweb report today that Lazio are ready to get rid of Nani and they want Lucas Perez as a replacement for the forward.
The Italians are said to want Lucas on loan with an option to buy.
Nani, who is now 31, is out of contract next season. With three goals and four assists in 16 Serie A appearances this season, the Italians are said to be ready to sell him this summer.
Lazio aren’t the only Italians interested in Lucas, however.
Calciomercato.com claim that Genoa have set their sights on securing his services next season on loan.
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.”
Benfica are also linked but would only be able to afford a loan as his €3m-a-year (net) wages would cause them a problem financially.
Where did it go wrong?
It’s safe to say Lucas didn’t have the best time at Arsenal.
After scoring 17 goals for Deportivo in 2015/16, he arrived at Arsenal as an unknown but potentially shrewd purchase.
At the time, we assumed Lucas would be in Wenger’s plans. He had a similar profile to Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy, who we tried and failed to sign earlier that summer. He may not have been first choice, but rarely does the Arsenal manager spend £17m on someone who doesn’t play.
So we thought.
Lucas, in the end, was just a backup striker at Arsenal, one that would only ever play when the first choices weren’t available or needed a break. Alexis played every minute of every game he was available for, Giroud would always get games where he could and Welbeck returned from injury and ended the season leading the line.
There are some who claim that Lucas only ever intended to be a backup striker and nothing more, but to me there’s something odd about signing a player for so much only to not use him.
In the cold and competitive world of top level football, his lack of playing time is understandable. Yet, it’s easy to sympathise with Lucas, who felt his performances deserved something more than what he got.
Arsenal will try to sell the player now at a significant loss and it won’t be the most amicable separation, either. Last summer, Lucas told La Voz de Galicia that he felt unfairly treated at the Emirates.
Besides a lack of opportunities to play, he was upset that Arsenal gave his number nine shirt to Lacazette without consulting with him first.
The symbolism couldn’t have been any clearer.
In the end, Arsenal won’t miss Lucas, and Lucas probably won’t miss Arsenal.
It’s just a shame that a player who deserved a bit more never got it.