Newcastle United talking to Spanish hot-shot Ayoze Perez

Newcastle United are ready to trigger the release clause of Tenerife's hotly-tipped striker Ayoze Perez

St James Park, the home of Newcastle United Football Club
St James Park, the home of Newcastle United Football Club

Newcastle United are ready to trigger the release clause of Tenerife's hotly-tipped striker Ayoze Perez – after his club sparked a transfer scramble by admitting he will be sold this summer.

United – who have a transfer delegation out in France at the moment – are hoping to make their first signing in the next seven days and have tabled an offer for Montpellier midfielder Remy Cabella. But they also want three strikers and see Perez as a player who fits into their blueprint of a young, talented striker with potential re-sale value.

The Journal understands that United are in dialogue with the Spanish club over Perez and could recruit him for around £1.8million. They are battling interest from Arsenal and Everton for a player who would go into their development squad and would be seen as a back-up option for their front-line forwards.

Tenerife’s promotion hopes have waned recently and they are due to give a Press conference today at which they will outline the player’s future. Perez was due into training on Tuesday morning despite the flurry of speculation surrounding his future.

Despite talk from the Canary Islands that the deal had been concluded, The Journal understands there is still plenty of work to be done on the deal. Newcastle are in talks with the player and his club and could offer a three-year deal for his services, but there remain doubts about his suitability to make an immediate impact on the Premier League. Tenerife president Miguel Concepcion was responsible for some of the speculation when he confirmed after Sunday’s defeat to Cordoba that Perez would be allowed to leave to block the possibility of the player buying out his contract. He also confirmed he would not be joining a club in Spain or Portugal, and said Porto had counted themselves out of the race to sign the forward.

Perez’s agent Olaf Banales is understood to have held several rounds of talks with Newcastle, but Roberto Martinez is also an admirer of the player. Arsenal have also enquired about him.

The striker has scored 16 goals in 33 games and made his name in Spain this year by helping Tenerife into the promotion picture, although the club have drifted away and the forward has not scored in the last six games. He remains one of the brightest prospects to come from the club in many years, and there was hope that they could retain him next year.

Concepcion’s proclamation suggests that is a forlorn hope, though – and has paved the way for Newcastle to make their move.

Meanwhile, Rob Elliot – who is part of United’s plans for next season – has revealed how he has ditched his own stag do to try and further his international career.

Elliot has been picked by Republic of Ireland and says he is prepared to “make sacrifices” to continue his Republic of Ireland career.

“All the lads are heading off without me,” Rob said. “I’ve had quite a bit of stick from my mates but you can’t put a price on international football.

“We planned the stag do more than a year ago, before I had any involvement with Ireland. You don’t think that far ahead but in football you never know what’s around the corner.

“At least there’s a good reason why I’m not going on my own stag do, and I will be able to look back at it and laugh. You have to make sacrifices and I would never jeopardise my chance of playing for my country.”

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David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer