Barcelona are reportedly plotting a shock swoop for former Arsenal forward Lucas Perez, who is valued at €25 million by current club Alaves.
As per a report from Spanish publication AS, reigning La Liga champions Barcelona are considering an emergency move for Lucas Perez outside the transfer window, as they seek to reinforce their attacking department.
Barcelona have lost star striker Luis Suarez to an injury, with the Uruguayan set to be sidelined for four months after undergoing a surgery on his troublesome knee. Things became worse when it was confirmed that Ousmane Dembele was also sidelined with a thigh injury and could be ruled out for the season.
This has left Barcelona short on numbers in the attacking department and Dembele’s injury has opened up an opportunity for the Catalans to make an emergency signing outside the transfer window, provided they get an approval from the medical department of Spanish Football Federation.
Barcelona had been linked with a move for Suarez’s namesake Luis Suarez of Real Zaragoza, while the name of Real Sociedad’s Willian Jose has also been mentioned as a potential target for the Catalans. And, now the report from AS has claimed that they are also looking at Alaves striker Lucas Perez.
After a disappointing stint in England with Arsenal and West Ham United, the 31-year-old Perez seems to have rediscovered his form since joining Alaves last summer. The former Arsenal star has found the back of the net on nine occasions from 22 La Liga matches, while setting up four more in the ongoing campaign.
Perez is the fifth-highest goalscorer in the La Liga this season and his form has seemingly caught the attention of Barcelona, who are in dire need of a forward. The fact that Perez can play through the middle or on the flanks makes him a more appealing target for the Catalans ahead of Willian Jose and Luis Suarez.
With Alaves finding themselves close to the drop zone, they will not want to lose a key player towards the business end of the season. So, Barcelona will have to pay Perez’s release clause of €25 million in order to sign him from their fellow La Liga outfit.
Perez was recently asked about a potential move to Barcelona mid-season, to which he claimed that he would be interested in a transfer in the summer. “I don’t know anything about Barça’s interest but if at the end of the year there is an opportunity, it will be welcome,” the 31-year-old said.
It remains to be seen if Barcelona trigger Perez’s release clause in the coming days or decide to switch their attention from the former Arsenal superstar to other targets.