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Newcastle United have made Valencia's Enzo Pérez a transfer target and could land the Argentine midfielder in a cut-price deal.
According to recent reports in Spanish publication AS, the former Benfica man is keen to move away from the Mestella Stadium and could be available for just £7.8million.
The report states new Valencia manager Marcelino is prepared to let the player leave and that the club have offered the 31-year-old to several sides in the Premier League, Newcastle among them.
Perez has also been linked with a return to Argentina with River Plate after they sold Sebastián Driussi to Zenit.
However, it is believed River can't afford the transfer fee meaning a return back to Perez's home country looks unlikely, for now.
AS claim England is one of the only markets that could afford to sign the midfielder.
And the links to Pérez come just weeks after Newcastle made an enquiry about Liverpool defensive midfielder Lucas Leiva.
It was thought Newcastle manager Rafa Benítez wanted to bring in an experienced player to guide his inexperienced squad. The Liverpool stalwart seemed like an ideal target, but, now, so does Pérez.
What Pérez offers Newcastle
Of the two aforementioned players, Lucas is perhaps the more refined player. His incisive passes from deep would be welcomed at St James' Park but if Benítez is after a player to be his Javier Mascherano in a 4-2-3-1 system then Pérez is his guy.
Although the Magpies used more of a 4-4-1-1 formation last season, the idea behind the system is similar to the one Benitez perfected at Anfield.
One of the centre midfielders is to be a playmaker, which last season was Jonjo Shelvey, while the other is there to do the dirty work.
A report in the Northern Echo claimed the Magpies enquired about Lucas because they wanted an “experienced alternative” to Jack Colback and Isaac Hayden.
The central midfield duo for Newcastle averaged 2.1 tackles while Hayden averaged 0.3 more interceptions (1.6 to 1.3) than Colback per 90 minutes.
Both fall short when compared to the Argentine pitbull, who averaged 3.2 tackles and 2.2 last term playing in a struggling Valencia side.
In fact, it was his most productive season in terms of defensive stats since moving to Spain in 2014. However, a cause for concern would be the fact he picked up 14 yellow cards.
With the pace of the Premier League being different to that of La Liga those could quickly turn into red cards.
While bringing a 31-year-old midfielder to England – one who has never experienced the rigours of the league – may be a risky move it didn't turn out too badly for Leicester City when they signed Esteban Cambiasso
When the former Inter general arrived at the King Power stadium, many raised their eyebrows. But after a series of memorable performances fans were disappointed to see him leave after just the one season. Fortunately for the Foxes they replaced him with a certain N'Golo Kanté.
Some may point out that Cambiasso's class was evident having played for Real Madrid and Inter but just because Pérez hasn't turned out for European royalty doesn't mean he's not good enough.
Prior to the 2014 World Cup he was heavily linked with a move to Manchester United. Speaking at the time to Argentine TV station TyC Sports he said: “There are negotiations between other clubs and Benfica about me.
“I know that Valencia and Manchester United are interested. There are serious possibilities to leave after the World Cup.”
At the time many reports claimed the Red Devils were prepared to part with £25million to land the Benfica combative midfielder.
However, Peter Lim bought the Spanish club and there was an influx of players from the Portuguese side, with Pérez being one of them.
His stock has fallen but he's been playing for a Valencia side permanently in transition. If anybody is able to harness his ability once more it's Benítez.
With pre-season just around the corner, Newcastle and their Champions League winning manager are keen to bolster their squad. However, despite their best efforts, the Magpies have been thwarted in a difficult transfer market.
Christian Atsu remains Newcastle’s only signing this summer, securing a permanent deal after a successful season-long loan.
Tammy Abraham, who looked set to sign on loan, has seemingly opted to join Swansea and a number of other deals haven't come to fruition.
Pérez may not be the name many fans dreamed about when planning their return to England's top flight but he could be an effective short-term signing to help the club establish themselves before progressing onto bigger and better names.