Ayoze Perez has confirmed that Barcelona were interested in signing him in the past before any potential move failed to materialise.
Spanish radio station Cadena SER, have reported that Barcelona were eager to sign Ayoze Perez from Newcastle United last summer, with the Spanish forward confirming the same in an interview with them.
Perez claimed that there was interest from Premier League clubs as well as Barcelona for his services last summer before any move failed to materialise. “There was more interest from England but there was some [from Barcelona],” he said.
Additionally, the player did not rule out a Camp Nou switch in the future while also adding that he remained committed to Newcastle for now. “You have to work so this kind of thing can happen. Now my head’s at Newcastle,” he added.
— El Larguero (@ellarguero) July 3, 2017
Ayoze Perez progressed through the ranks at Tenerife before making the grade in the first-team setup in 2012. The player made rapid strides for the senior side, winning the Breakthrough Player as well as the Best Attacking Midfielder awards in the Segunda Division for the 2013/14.
Having made such an impression for Tenerife, the Spaniard was snapped up by Newcastle in the summer of 2014, with the Magpies reportedly staving off interest from the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid to secure his services.
Since then, Perez has gone from strength to strength at St. James’ Park, and has consistently been one of the most instrumental figures for Newcastle.
In the recently concluded season, the 23-year-old played 41 times in all competitions, turning in a respectable return of 12 goals and 7 assists as the club regained promotion back to the Premier League.
But, instead of plying his trade in the Championship, Perez could very well have been turning out for Barcelona in the 2016/17 season.
As confirmed by the player himself, the Catalan club were interested in signing him last summer, and made an approach to enquire over his ability before eventually securing the services of Paco Alcacer.
The signing has turned out to be a failure thus far, with the former Valencia forward struggling to be a prolific presence in front of goal. In all, he scored just 8 goals in 27 appearances across all competitions for Barcelona.
While there are no guarantees that Perez would have been a resounding success at Camp Nou, his versatility to play equally adeptly across every position in attack would have definitely made him an able deputy for Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez.
For now though, he remains committed to Newcastle, and is now focusing on being an influential member in Rafa Benitez’s squad for the forthcoming season.