Newcastle United were offered the chance to sign Valencia midfielder Enzo Perez for €10millon this summer, according to reports.
Rafael Benítez is said to be a fan of the 31-year-old and was interested in striking a deal with the Spanish club. However, it appears Perez could now be moving to River Plate for just €3million.
It is unsure why Valencia have decided to offload Perez at such a low price when they could have received a higher fee from a Premier League club, but it is believed the midfielder was keen to return to Argentina.
Who is Enzo Perez?
Perez joined Benitez’ former club Valencia from Benfica in 2014 for £20million. He won four major trophies during his time in Portugal and turned out against Newcastle at St James’ Park in the Quarter-Final of the Europa League in 2013.
The Argentine’s performances for Valencia last season were below par. He made 28 appearances, providing just one assist as well as picking up 15 bookings and one red card.
Perez also has 19 international caps to his name and was a key player at the 2014 World Cup finals where he played in the same side as Lionel Messi, Javier Mascherano and Gonzalo Higuaín.
Rafa becoming frustrated
Benítez’ frustration at the lack of transfer activity is growing, having only signed Christian Atsu so far this summer, and the Spaniard was hoping a move for Perez would be the breakthrough they needed.
But a move is now looking extremely unlikely and United are now expected to be looking at other targets.
Benfica’s Andreas Samaris is rumoured to be a target for United, but it is thought the Magpies would need to break their record transfer fee (£16m paid for Michael Owen in 2005) to sign the defensive midfielder, which could be a stumbling block.