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West Ham closing in on double capture of Lucas Perez, Carlos Sanchez

Lucas Perez, out-of-favour Arsenal striker

London, August 9: Despite spending nearly 100 million pounds this summer, it seems West Ham United are not ready to hold their transfer kitty yet as according to reports, the London-based side is looking to snap up Arsenal's out-of-favour attacker Lucas Perez and Fiorentina midfielder Carlos Sanchez.

Perez joined Arsenal two years ago under Arsene Wenger in a £17million deal after the Spaniard impressed heavily during his spell with La Liga side Deportivo La Coruna, where he scored 17 goals and helped them avoid relegation.

However, after his arrival at Emirates, the attacker struggled for game time and was rarely seen in the Arsenal starting line-up. Perez was limited mostly to cup appearances and finished his debut campaign with eight goals and six assists from 22 matches. But the performance did not fascinate Wenger and he was sent to his former side Deportivo on a year-long loan deal last season.

After a shaky start, the attacker started to flourish in his familiar place. He scored only nine times and assisted eight in 37 games but sadly failed to prevent his side from getting relegated. Following the loan spell, Depertivo did not activate the buy clause and apparently, the Gunners board were planning to pull buyers for Perez with Italian side Lazio showing interest.

However, after Unai Emery's arrival at Arsenal, the player was told to stay put at Emirates for the time being and he was given a chance to shine during the pre-season tour by the new boss. The forward appeared in two of Arsenal's last four friendly games. But it appears that his display on the pitch has not impressed Emery, who has now asked the club to sell the player.

The player has reportedly been placed on the transfer list for around £5million and West Ham are the latest name to join the chase for him with a £4.4 million offer.

The Gunners are expected to take a near £12m hit on Perez, who is now likely to be a backup striker to both Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez at West Ham.

In addition, West Ham could make their tenth summer signing before Thursday’s transfer market deadline with reports saying that Fiorentina's defensive midfielder Carlos Sanchez could join the squad. All this is part of new coach Manuel Pellegrini's plans to mount a title challenge in this Premier League season.

The 32-year-old earlier had a two-year stint in the Premier League with the relegated Aston Villa but has been with the Serie A side for the last two years and later spent the second half of the last season on loan at Espanyol.

The Colombian is seen as a replacement for Cheikhou Kouyate, who has moved to Crystal Palace, and will be challenged by Declan Rice and Pedro Obiang for the defensive midfield spot.

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Story first published: Wednesday, August 8, 2018, 15:42 [IST]
Other articles published on Aug 8, 2018
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