Unai Emery likely to sell misfit Perez to West Ham

Unai Emery likely to sell misfit Perez to West Ham

Arsenal misfit Lucas Perez is closing in on a move to West Ham, with the forward keen to remain in the Premier League.

The 29-year-old joined the Gunners two years ago but spent the entirety of last season on loan at former club Deportivo.

Having been included in Arsenal’s pre-season tour of Singapore it appeared Perez was potentially going to be given a fresh start under new head coach Unai Emery.

But a transfer across London to join the Hammers is edging closer as Thursday’s transfer deadline approaches, with Perez wanting another chance to make his mark in England.

West Ham have already spent big this summer, landing the likes of Felipe Anderson, Issa Diop, and Andriy Yarmolenko — as well as bringing in former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere on a free transfer.

Perez cost Arsenal a reported £17m (€19m) in 2016 but made just two Premier League starts under Arsene Wenger as he failed to earn a regular spot at the Emirates Stadium.

Meanwhile, Newcastle have completed the signing of West Brom striker Salomon Rondon on a season-long loan deal, with Dwight Gayle moving in the other direction as part of the agreement.

Rondon, 28, scored seven Premier League goals last season as the Baggies dropped out of the top flight.

He will link up with Rafael Benitez’s Newcastle, with Gayle heading to the Hawthorns on loan for the campaign in return.

Venezuela international Rondon becomes Benitez’s sixth summer recruit, following on from the signings of Martin Dubravka, Kenedy, Yoshinori Muto, Fabian Schar, and Ki Sung-yeung.

Newcastle’s statement claimed Rondon was Benitez’s “number one transfer target” this summer.

“I am delighted to sign Salomon,” said the Newcastle boss.

“When we were looking for options up front, we knew how important experience would be. Salomon has been in the Premier League for a while and he knows how demanding it is.”

Rondon said in the club statement: “It’s an honour to be here and I’m excited to get started with my team-mates.

“The clubs were talking for a long time and now I’m focused on the season to help my team mates to get the points to do well this season.

It’s one of the biggest clubs in the Premier League and I knew about the interest of the gaffer, so I’m happy to be here.

Gayle struck 23 goals in 32 games to help Newcastle gain promotion from the Championship in 2016-17 but struggled for such form once back in the Premier League.

The former Crystal Palace forward scored one league goal fewer than Rondon — and will now look to help Darren Moore’s West Brom back into the Premier League at the first time of asking after they lost their opener to Bolton on Saturday.

“The manager attracted me,” Gayle told West Brom’s official website.

“He’s really enthusiastic about my game and I’m buzzing to come down and I can’t wait to get started.”

Elsewhere, Arturo Vidal feels he is making a step up by swapping Bayern Munich for Barcelona.

The Chile international agreed a move to the Nou Camp last week and was officially unveiled as a Barca player yesterday.

The 31-year-old former Bayer Leverkusen and Juventus midfielder won the Bundesliga in each of his three seasons with Bavarian giants Bayern but feels Barca is a greater challenge.

Vidal told Barca’s website: “I’ve come here to bring a lot of energy onto the pitch. Joining Barca is a step up for me. I will work hard to bring joy to the Barcelona fans.

It has been reported that Barcelona agreed a fee in the region of €20m for the player.

Vidal played 124 competitive games for Bayern, scoring 22 goals and providing 17 assists. As well as his three Bundesliga titles, he also helped the club win the German Cup in 2016.

Belgium midfielder Axel Witsel has agreed to join Borussia Dortmund from Chinese club Tianjin Quanjian.

The German side have triggered the release clause in Witsel’s contract to bring him back to Europe, with a four-year deal set to be signed over the coming days.

Witsel, who impressed at the World Cup in Russia, told Dortmund’s official website: “After the World Cup, it was my goal to move from China back to Europe.

“After our first conversation, I did not have to think twice, because for me Borussia Dortmund is one of the best clubs on the continent. Honestly, I can not wait to run around in front of 81,000 people.”

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