Football News

Why ex-Arsenal striker Lucas Perez turned down Barcelona transfer last month

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 20:29, 29 February 2020

Deportivo Alavés striker Lucas Perez says he wasn’t interested in a Barcelona move because opportunities there would be limited.

The 31-year-old Spanish marksman is enjoying a productive season having registered 10 goals across 24 league appearances this season.

Perez turning Barcelona down: Five key things to know…

  • Lucas Perez joined Deportivo Alavés from West Ham last summer.
  • He would make 19 appearances for the Hammers, registering six goals.
  • Before he was at Arsenal but struggled for playing time and returned to hometown club Deportivo de La Coruña on loan.
  • Since moving back to Spain he’s impressed, subsequently attracting Barcelona’s attention.
  • However, foreseeing a lack of playing time, Perez turned a potential move down.

Following the news Ousmane Dembélé is out for six months, Barcelona were given permission by La Liga to make a signing outside the transfer window, albeit the player can only come from another Spanish club

A number of forwards were subsequently linked with the five-time European champions most prominently Getafe striker Ángel Rodríguez however, in the end, Danish centre-forward Martin Braithwaite joined Barça from Leganés.

The former Middlesbrough man subsequently made his debut in an 18-minute cameo in their 5-0 home win over Eibar, but that moment could have belonged Perez who has rediscovered his goalscoring touch following a disappointing spell in English football with Arsenal and then West Ham.

Perez played 26 times in the Premier League, with the bulk of those (15) coming at the Hammers, and registered just four goals. Looking back, the native of A Coruña is happy to be at a club where he’s guaranteed regular playing time, hence the disinterest when Barcelona called.

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“In the winter transfer window, like all transfer windows, teams usually call,” he told Marca.

“In fact, not only Barcelona called, but other teams as well. But in my head, I wanted to end the season here because I am happy and I have a contract.

“I didn’t want to take another misstep, where I would not have opportunities, as happened to me in England. In no case did I plan to leave mid-season, I want to stay here until the end.

“It is not the first time that Barcelona has called me, like other great clubs. The truth is that that does not distract me. What is clear to me is that I want to do well and I want to feel like a player again as I am doing here, where they have given me love since day one.

“At the end of the season, what happens, happens. I have a contract with Alaves. I am very settled and I am very happy in Vitoria, and that is reflected on the field.”

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