Newcastle United forward Ayoze Perez has signed a new long-term contract with the club, ending speculation linking him with moves to Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United. Perez, 22, has penned a five-and-a-half year deal at St James' Park, keeping him at the club until 2021.
In November 2015, the Daily Telegraph reported that United manager Louis van Gaal was considering the Spaniard as a possible addition in the January transfer window. Perez himself admitted later that month it was flattering to be linked with a move to Old Trafford, but added he remained determined to continue establishing himself at St James' Park. And Perez has remained true to his word, committing his immediate future to the club.
"It's a special day for me, a big day for me," Perez told Newcastle's official website. "The truth is I'm really happy here, so it's a good thing for me – and I hope it's the same for the Geordie family. Newcastle gave me everything and I'm really pleased to sign this new contract."
Newcastle boss Steve McClaren added: "I am delighted that Ayoze has signed a new deal. "He is a very good player with huge potential and someone we believe has a very big future at Newcastle United. We are building this club for the long-term and Ayoze is a very important part of that."
Perez told IBTimesUK in December: "It is a great pleasure for me [to be linked with Tottenham and United]. It is incredible, something very big and that's because I'm doing well but I must go on. It's my job.
"You never know. Football takes many turns. Today in fact I am a substitute [at Newcastle]. I am working hard to be in the manager's starting plans. That's all I think: to work. Then the fruits arrive. I am very happy at Newcastle. They gave me everything, they made me professional. I want to continue working with them, trying to climb on the table and then whatever have to happens will happen."
Newcastle have had a busy January window having already added Henri Saivet, Jonjo Shelvey and Andros Townsend to their ranks. On deadline day, the club confirmed their fourth major addition in 28-year-old Ivory Coast striker Seydou Doumbia on loan from Roma until the end of the season.