Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has joked about talking to Arsene Wenger about Lucas Perez in a recent meeting.

Lucas has been linked with Newcastle in recent weeks and manager Rafa Benitez has admitted that he is an admirer of the striker. Fully aware of the speculation, Benitez has joked about a conversation he had with Arsene Wenger about the player.

Speaking to BT Sport, Benitez said he saw Wenger and said they had to talk about a player. Wenger responded: “Do you have some money?” A good relationship between the two managers might help the deal go through in the coming weeks.

Arsenal reportedly want £13m for Lucas and have been struggling to find clubs who could pay that much. Newcastle certainly have the capability but have had a very quiet transfer window so far.

Their owner Mike Ashley is notorious for trying to haggle for players and never wanting to pay the full asking price. Such stinginess is frustrating Rafa Benitez and could leave Arsenal short of an interested buyer.

Deportivo La Caruna and Fenerbahce remain interested, but as yet have not successfully negotiated a deal with Arsenal. The saga could well continue until the end of the summer transfer window at this rate.