LATEST: BBC journalist Phil McNulty now reporting that Arsenal and Deportivo have agreed terms for the transfer of striker Lucas Pérez.
Reports in Spain (yes them again) saying Arsenal#s bid for Lucas Perez Martinez now acceptable to Deportivo La Coruna. That should be that.
— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) August 25, 2016
Arsenal are set to trump Everton by signing the Deportivo la Coruña forward Lucas Pérez.
Lucas, who scored 17 goals last season and opened his account for this season with the winner against Elbar last Friday, has a buyout clause of around £17m. Everton had been prepared to meet that amount and had even agreed personal terms in principle with the 27-year-old, only for Arsenal to emerge as suitors.
Negotiations between the clubs and player are understood to be under way in Spain, with Arsenal confident the move will be confirmed before the weekend. Arsène Wenger had been targeting a central defender but moved for Lucas after Saturday’s goalless draw at Leicester City, having seen interest in Jamie Vardy and Alexandre Lacazette come to nothing earlier in the summer.
Lucas, who began his career at Atlético Madrid, can operate through the centre or on the flank having established his credentials during spells at Rayo Vallecano, Karpaty Lviv in Ukraine, PAOK Salonika in Greece and, initially on loan in 2014, at Deportivo la Coruña. He signed a fone-year deal at the Spanish club last summer.
Confirmation that Arsenal, who can offer Champions League football, have edged out Everton for Lucas represents a blow to the Merseyside club, whose recently appointed director of football, Steve Walsh, had earmarked the forward while at his previous club Leicester.
Ronald Koeman is still searching for a player to operate alongside Romelu Lukaku, who has agreed to remain at Goodison Park for at least another season. Oumar Niasse, a £13.5m signing from Lokomotiv Moscow in February, is still expected to join Hull City on loan in search of first-team football.
Everton could yet sell James McCarthy before next week’s deadline, with Crystal Palace, Southampton and Stoke City having all expressed an interest in the 25-year-old Republic of Ireland midfielder, who would cost around £18m.
Arsenal hope to add a centre-half to their squad before the deadline, with Valencia’s Shkodran Mustafi still their first choice. The 24-year-old German is priced at around £26m.
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