West Ham United have joined AC Milan and Sevilla in the race to sign Arsenal forward Lucas Perez, according to reports
According to the Times, West Ham have already made formal inquiries with Arsenal over the possibility of signing their out-of-favour forward with a view to a potential move in the summer, with Slaven Bilic said to be an admirer of the player.
Perez signed for Arsenal from Deportivo La Coruna at the start of the season in a £17 million deal but has failed to break into the first team and has only managed to make 2 starts in the English Premier League this season.
Perez has been reduced to bit-part roles during Arsenal’s campaign and has only been given real chances in the FA Cup and EFL Cup, where he has scored 3 goals in 6 appearances. Despite impressing during his cameos, Perez has not been a regular in the team and the return of Danny Welbeck hasn’t helped his cause either.
This has led to widespread reports that the Spaniard is fed up with his situation at Arsenal and will seek a move at the end of the season, with his agent even claiming Perez wanted to “leave at all costs” before quickly back-tracking on those comments.
The Times claim that Slaven Bilic is looking to add strikers to his squad as West Ham have struggled for goals this season, with Michail Antonio – who is used in midfield or even as a right back – their top scorer with 9 goals.
However, the Hammers will likely face tough competition to sign Perez as the Spaniard has been linked with a number of other clubs. AC Milan have been heavily linked with a move for the striker this summer, with the Italians looking to reinforce their side this summer.
Carlos Bacca will likely leave the club at the end of the season and this will leave Milan very light up front. If their takeover by Sino-Europe Sports – which has been mired in issues – goes through, Milan will also have the funds to meet Arsenal’s asking price.
Sevilla have also been linked with a move for the forward with Jorge Sampaoli also said to be an admirer of Perez. The La Liga side are currently flying high in the domestic league and will be looking to ensure they add quality to their squad in order to keep up in their bid to challenge the elite trio up top.
They could also be a preferred destination for Perez himself given that he is Spanish although it remains to be seen if they can meet Arsenal’s asking price. Even without the interest from other clubs, West Ham might have a tough time convincing Arsenal as the Gunners may be reluctant to sell their player to a fellow English side.