Arsenal Transfer News: Gunners Set Lucas Perez Asking Price amid Lazio Rumours

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistJuly 30, 2018

Arsenal's Spanish striker Lucas Perez celebrates after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Bournemouth and Arsenal at the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth, southern England on January 3, 2017. / AFP / Glyn KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  /         (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)
GLYN KIRK/Getty Images

Arsenal will sell Lucas Perez but only if an interested club meets Arsenal's asking price of £7 million.

The Gunners have set the fee for Perez, who spent last season on loan at former club Deportivo La Coruna, amid rumours of interest from Serie A side Lazio, per Corriere di Roma (h/t TalkSport.com).

Head coach Unai Emery appears set to move on from the attacker, who was signed by predecessor Arsene Wenger for £17.1 million back in 2016.

TalkSport notes "Lazio sporting director Igli Tare is confident that a deal can be concluded" at this price before each club's new season gets underway.

Perez couldn't prevent Deportivo from being relegated last season.
Perez couldn't prevent Deportivo from being relegated last season.Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

If so, it would be an abrupt end to Perez's frustrating spell with the Gunners. The Spaniard initially showed promise, offering pace, technique and a ruthless appetite for goal.

A hat-trick away to Basel in the UEFA Champions League in December 2016 provided the highlight of Perez's early days with Arsenal. However, playing time soon became hard to come by as Wenger appeared to lose faith in the frontman.

A return to Depor hardly helped Perez and his cause considering the club was relegated from Spain's top flight last season. Even so, Perez still has value as a skilled striker who can create goals as well as score them thanks to a range of deft touches and improvised flair.

His back-heel to set up a winner for Olivier Giroud against Preston North End in the third round of the 2017 FA Cup, a tournament the Gunners would win, summed up the quality in Perez's game.

Perez struggled to convince Wenger of his worth.
Perez struggled to convince Wenger of his worth.Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Yet Emery's squad is far from lacking for quality up top, where both Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hold sway. England international Danny Welbeck is another option, while 19-year-old Eddie Nketiah will be keen to prove himself after showing promise last season.

Despite his options, Emery may yet be prompted to keep Perez. He did include the forward in his squad for the International Champions Cup, per James Benge of the London Evening Standard, who noted how "Lucas has featured more regularly under Emery in pre-season and is understood to be more settled with this manager than he had been previously."

The agency representing the player, Protio Sport, released a statement (h/t Football.London's Tashan Deniran-Alleyne) outlining Perez's desire to "succeed" at Arsenal.

Emery's arrival could improve Perez's fortunes at Arsenal.
Emery's arrival could improve Perez's fortunes at Arsenal.Allsport Co./Getty Images

While his time in north London has been underwhelming to date, Perez could still have value. He has more goals in him than Welbeck and likely more assists than Nketiah, making him useful cover for Lacazette and Aubameyang.