Arsenal forward Lucas Perez is set to return to Deportivo La Coruna, despite offers from Premier League outfits Everton and Newcastle United, after club president Tino Fernandez assured manager Pepe Mel that the 28-year-old would arrive back in Spain in the next few days.
Perez is surplus to requirements at the Emirates Stadium and has made no secret of his desire to depart this summer after growing increasingly frustrated with the lack of first-team opportunities afforded to him by manager Arsene Wenger, who helping the Spaniard seek pastures new.
Arsenal are prepared to let Perez leave if they receive €15m (£13.7m, $17.6m) from a potential sale, and there is seemingly no shortage of suitors interested in signing the former Rayo Vallecano loanee. Everton, Newcastle, Bayer Leverkusen, Valencia, Levante and Galatasaray have all submitted offers for the versatile attacker, but Deportivo - president Fernandez in particular - seem to believe they have got their man.
"Tino Fernandez has told me that Lucas Perez will be here next week, and he is very stubborn," Deportivo boss Mel was quoted as saying by Football.London. "I have no choice but to believe him."
The news may come as a real blow to Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez, who is desperate to add further quality to his squad this season. The former Liverpool boss told of his admiration for Perez a few weeks ago, but a move to bring him to St James' Park looks rather unlikely.
Everton manager Ronald Koeman will also be disappointed over the Toffees' failure to capture Perez, but has already welcomed a number of new attackers to Goodison Park this summer. While the Dutchman is still scouring the market for a striker, he seems to be targeting a physically dominant centre-forward who can bring others into play rather than a nippy, quick-witted player like Perez.
Everton almost completed a deal to sign Perez last summer but were eventually gazumped by Arsenal, who moved quickly to wrap up a £17m deal to take the former Alaves academy star from Deportivo.
Perez's decision to move to London rather than Merseyside eventually turned out to be the wrong one. The former Karpaty Lyiv hitman started just two Premier League matches last season and was largely restricted to brief cameo appearances, in which he regularly impressed. Perez made 17 appearances in all competitions last season, but Wenger saw fit to completely freeze him out of the side from March onwards.