Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has admitted that he is interested in Arsenal forward Lucas Perez.

The Spanish striker remains an Arsenal player despite interest from Deportivo La Caruna, Fenerbahce and Newcastle. Recent comments from Lucas and his agent suggest that they’re relaxed about the situation, even though they want the move to happen more than anyone.

According to the Express, Newcastle could make that move happen soon, with manager Rafa Benitez admitting that Lucas is one of the players the club is watching. “I like the player because I have good friends in A Coruna,” Benitez said.

“I know that he did really well. He’s come here and not played in many games, but I like the player. We know what we need and will try to do it until the end of the transfer window. We are now trying to work in different directions at the time.”

Arsenal are believed to be trying to recoup as much of the £17m they spent to sign Lucas from Deportivo last summer. It’s for this reason that they haven’t accepted a lesser offer from the former club and have resisted loan offers.

The Spaniards have been the most keen to sign him, being reportedly prepared to offer him a 10-year contract. Newcastle, meanwhile, can be very stingy when it comes to transfer fees. If they are interested in signing him, they could try to haggle down the price, I believe.

Lucas wants to play regular first team football again in hopes of breaking into the Spain team ahead of next summer’s World Cup. With three weeks remaining in the transfer window, time is running out to make that happen.