Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has publicly expressed his desire to sign Arsenal's wantaway forward Lucas Perez this summer and is aware of the personnel he needs to bring in before the end of the transfer window.
Perez, 28, joined Arsenal from Deportivo La Coruna last summer but was used rather sporadically by Arsene Wenger. The versatile Spaniard started just two Premier League matches last season and did not receive a minute of game-time from March onwards.
Perez has made it clear he wishes to leave Arsenal this summer and the Gunners have told him that he will be allowed to depart the capital if they receive an offer worth €15m (13.55m, $17.7m) for his services. Wenger admitted that Perez will leave the club in a recent press conference, and refused to rule out the possibility of a loan move.
Newcastle have made a number of signings already this summer but Benitez is keen to ramp up the recruitment drive at St James' Park and has identified Perez as a man who could sufficiently bolster his strikeforce during the current campaign.
The former Real Madrid boss knows Perez well thanks to his "good friends" at Deportivo, who are interested in bringing their former hitman back to Spain, and is keen to help his compatriot revive his career after essentially wasting a whole season at Arsenal.
Speaking after Newcastle's 2-0 win over Hellas Verona in their final pre-season friendly on Sunday (6 August), Benitez told the Mirror: "I like the player [Perez] because I have good friends in La Coruña.
"I know that he did really well. He's come here and not played in many games, but I like the player. We know what we need and will try to do it until the end of the transfer window. We are now trying to move in different directions at the same time."
Arsenal's Perez is not the only Spaniard that Benitez is reportedly targeting. Sky Sports News claims that Newcastle are interested in luring West Ham United goalkeeper Adrian away from The London Stadium after the arrival of Joe Hart pushed the 30-year-old down the pecking order.
Hammers boss Slaven Bilic has made it clear that he wants Adrian to remain in east London after allowing Darren Randolph to join Championship outfit Middlesbrough earlier this summer, but Benitez reportedly sees the former Real Betis stopper as a key target.