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Arsenal face the prospect of sanctioning a size-able loss on Lucas Perez after Deportivo La Coruna submitted a £9million bid for the want-away Spanish international.
Lucas has made no secret of his desire to leave the Emirates, and the situation became untenable last week when the striker staged showdown talks with the Gunners’ lead negotiator Dick Law after Alexandre Lacazette was handed his No. 9 shirt.
The 28-year-old enjoyed the best season of his career in Galicia, bagging 17 goals across 36 La Liga games in the 2015-16 season, and is eager to return after a frustrating season in England.
The La Liga giants have been equally public in their desire to reunite with Lucas, but would struggle to match the £17m fee they received from Arsenal a year ago.
According to Standard Sport, Deportivo are yet to receive a response from the North London club to the offer, with Lucas expected to attend further talks with the Emirates hierarchy this week after being left out of their pre-season tour of Australia and China.
As such, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger faces the prospect of either holding a plyer against his will or acceptiing a significant earnings unless they can start a bidding war with other parties.
Though the likes of Sevilla are also interested to sign Lucas, the striker has his heart set on a return back to his club, who are reportedly prepaed to offer him a 10-year contract that will extend beyond his playing career into a backroom role.
Pressure on the Gunners to reach a solution over the Spaniard’s future hit a peak yesterday as it emerged the striker became aware his shirt number had been given to the club record signing Lacazette via Arsenal’s website.
After a season at the Emirates in which he bagged seven goals in 21 appearances – nine of which he started – Lucas has consistently made clear his desire to move on from Arsenal, where playing time will be even more limited in light of the Spaniard’s arrival.
His agent Rodrigo Fernandez Lovelle told Standard Sport on Monday his client had been particularly unhappy over losing the No.9 shirt, given that Arsenal have denied Mesut Ozil the chance to take the No.10 shirt he has openly coveted from Jack Wilshere.
“Dick Law called us to inform us the moment it was on the web, it was a decision of Wenger with the player [Lacazette] on the flight to Australia, no one asked Lucas,” Lovelle said.
“Arsenal won’t give Ozil the No.10 because he has another player, Jack Wilshere, who has it but is loaned out.
“Lucas was not asked whether he would give up his shirt.”