La Liga clubs chasing Arsenal flop Lucas Perez after disappointing first Premier League campaign

The 28-year-old has failed to make an impact after his £17m move last summer

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The Independent Football

Lucas Perez is being chased by a handful of La Liga clubs as he eyes a return to his homeland after a frustrating first season at Arsenal.

The 28-year-old joined the north London club in late August after Arsene Wenger decided to trigger his £17.1m release clause. 

But he has made just two Premier League starts all year and has been frustrated by being used out of position in his rare opportunities to play. 

"This season has been difficult because I think I’ve deserved to play more," he said last weekend.

"I may not have done as well as others, but if they’d have given me more minutes I’d have produced better numbers: more goals and more assists.

"I’ve spoken to the coach and he admits as much, but he has own ideas and I respect that. I’d like more opportunities because I think I deserve them, but I’ll have to accept what comes my way."

Perez's camp have explored a return to former club Deportivo La Coruna, but the Galicians will struggle to compete financially with the likes of Villarreal, Espanyol and Valencia - who are also keen on the forward - as the player prioritises finding a last big contract over returning to his boyhood side.

Indeed, Valencia, along with Everton, had offered to pay Lucas' clause last summer when the Spaniard had his head turned by Champions League football. There is now a chance that they get lucky second time around. 

Everton, however, have moved on with their interest and are instead targeting Barcelona academy graduate Sandro Ramirez. 

Ronald Koeman was in Malaga this weekend to watch the striker in person, and the Toffees are competing with Tottenham for the young forward's £5m signing.