Arsene Wenger has confirmed that wantaway forward Lucas Perez will be allowed to leave Arsenal this summer due to a "congestion of strikers" at The Emirates Stadium.
Perez, 28, joined the Gunners from La Liga outfit Deportivo La Coruna in a deal worth €21m (£18.9m, $24.5m) last summer but was rarely given a chance to establish himself in north London, and Arsenal have told him that he will be allowed to leave if they receive an offer worth €15m.
The versatile Spaniard, who was close to joining Everton before Arsenal hijacked negotiations, has made it clear that he intends to leave for pastures new this summer after growing frustrated with his lack of game-time under Wenger. Perez started just twice in the Premier League last season and did not see a minute of action from March onwards.
His former club Deportivo have expressed an interest and recently submitted an offer for Perez, who was left out of Arsenal's pre-season tours of China and Australia. The writing was on the wall for the Rayo Vallecano hitman when the Gunners allowed new club-record signing Alexandre Lacazette to wear the number nine shirt without consulting him first.
Wenger, who recently suggested that Perez would be part of his plans for the upcoming campaign, reluctantly confirmed that the mooted Newcastle United target is set to leave the club this summer and intimated that he may be allowed to depart on loan.
Asked if Perez was set to leave Arsenal, Wenger said in his press conference: "Yes, because we have a congestion of strikers. I don't like to lose him but we have many strikers. At some stage too much competition is not competition any more."
Perez could be one of a whole host of players to depart Arsenal between now and the end of the season. A number of Gunners stars are in the last years of their current deals, but Wenger remained tight-lipped over the futures of Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who is attracting interest from a host of Premier League rivals, though he did hint that negotiations have progressed.
"There is nothing to announce [about contract negotiations]," Wenger added. "We always make progress but there is nothing concrete to tell you about that."