Arsenal look to have edged ahead of Everton after making a late move for Deportivo La Coruna striker Lucas Perez. The Toffees were favourites to sign him and hoped to agree a deal in the coming days, but a late offer from the Gunners seems to have turned the striker's head.
According to Spanish daily El Confidencial, the Gunners are now leading the race to sign the Spanish forward despite Everton agreeing to pay the striker's €20m (£17m, $22.5m). The report believes that the deal with Arsenal is very close to being agreed after they agreed to also meet his buyout clause.
The 27-year-old forward started his career in Spain before having spells in Ukraine and Greece and returned to his homeland last summer. Perez had an impressive 2015/16 campaign scoring 19 goals and providing 11 assists in 39 appearances in all competitions.
The Deportivo star, who is contracted to the La Liga club until the summer of 2019, is said to be keen to take the next step in his career and is ready to choose Arsenal over Everton, as they can offer him Champions League football. Arsene Wenger is said to have monitored the forward extensively during the previous campaign, and is reported to have received positive reviews from his scouts abroad.
The French manager has made it clear that the club are looking to bolster the forward line before the close of the summer transfer window after failing with a move for Jamie Vardy, who chose to sign a new contract with Leicester. The north London club, who have failed to win either of their two games in the new Premier League campaign thus far were also linked with Gonzalo Higuain and Riyad Mahrez, but failed with their moves after the former signed for Juventus, while the latter agreed a new deal with the Foxes.