Newcastle United are in turmoil after the departure of manager Alan Pardew and things could be about to get worse for them if Manchester United and Arsenal’s transfer plans come to fruition.
One of the brightest bright spots in Newcastle’s undulating season so far has been the form of Ayoze Perez in an attacking midfield or striker role – he has done both to good effect. The 21-year-old has been a revelation since signing from Tenerife in the Spanish second division this summer, quickly becoming an integral member of the starting XI.
However, according to the Daily Star, Toon fans’ worst fears surrounding Perez could be confirmed: owner Mike Ashley may get a chance to cash in on him already. The report claims that both Louis van Gaal and Arsene Wenger have both been so impressed by the young Spaniard that they are considering January bids already.
After a dreadful start to the season, Pardew managed to turn things around at St James’ Park, leading the team to a six-game winning streak through October and November. However, December saw a four-game losing streak and the manager saw the opportunity to leave once the job at Crystal Palace became available.
Manchester United’s interest could have been triggered by manager Van Gaal looking as though he has decided to let Adnan Januzaj go elsewhere for some first team experience in the January transfer window. The Belgian youngster isn’t getting near the starting XI after a break-out season last term.
Perez’s instinct for goal – he has scored five times in the Premier League this season – and neat footwork in dangerous areas mean he could be a useful addition at Old Trafford. However, there is an abundance of attacking talent at Van Gaal’s disposal and Perez would likely spend most of his time on the bench.
Arsenal’s interest is similarly puzzling; Wenger’s squad is fit to bursting with diminutive attacking midfielders – it is as though he is collecting them. While there are expected to be departures this January, Lukas Podolski has already left for Inter Milan – attack is not the area the expected to be strengthened.
Time to Kill
Playing time would be an issue at Old Trafford and Emirates Stadium were Perez to move to either and his past would suggest that this is not what he wants. He has previously claimed that he turned down the likes of Real Madrid to make the £2milllion move to Newcastle precisely because he wanted to play regularly.
However, Ashley is not one to pass up a profitable opportunity and if the Toon can get a significant mark-up on that £2million after only six months, the decision about whether he stays or not may be taken out of Perez’s hands.