Sporting CP are Lucas Perez’s preferred destination if he leaves Arsenal this summer, but the Portuguese club may struggle to afford him, according to reports.

A Bola claim Sporting are Perez’s “favourite option”, but add that the Portuguese side may struggle to offer more than €5m for the player. Arsenal are unlikely to accept an offer that low, even if it’s what the 29-year-old wants.

Some of you are probably getting déjà vu right now, because this is the exact scenario we were in last summer. Perez had looked good in pre-season training, then got left out of the matches to secure a transfer. He wanted a permanent move, but Deportivo couldn’t afford it, so he went on loan instead.

All we’re missing this summer is the reports that Sporting will take him on loan instead.

Realistically, it’s time for Arsenal to stick or twist with Perez. The situation is dragging on, and it won’t be any easier to sell the forward next year when he’s in his thirties with two loans to two different clubs in consecutive seasons behind him.

For some reason, he’s not generating the interest he should be. You’d expect a player who created more La Liga chances than anyone except Lionel Messi last season to get a few more offers. Hopefully that changes before the end of the summer window, if Arsenal really are set on letting him go.