Key player Newcastle United sold for £30m becomes a free agent as release confirmed

The former Newcastle United star is searching for a new club.

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Ayoze Perez is a free agent - just four years after Newcastle United sold the Spaniard to Leicester City for £30million.

Perez spent five years on Tyneside, where he scored 48 goals and provided 17 assists in 195 appearances, after joining from Tenerife in 2014.

The 29-year-old was part of the side that lifted the Championship title in 2016-17, and one of his last acts in a Magpies shirt was netting a Premier League hat-trick against Southampton to avoid relegation.

Perez departed St James’ Park in the following summer after the Foxes activated his release clause. He cited the exit of Rafa Benitez as manager and a lack of ambition under Mike Ashley as his reasons for moving on.

“In this case, Leicester gave me such a great opportunity to come here,” said Perez. “The ambition of the club and the way they are doing the right things was very important in my decision. Also, as soon as Rafa left, the decision was easier.

“Things could be done better over there at Newcastle, but Leicester have given me the opportunity to do great things hopefully. There’s big ambition.

“I think how football works, the way you have to look at football, that’s the difference between Leicester and Newcastle. There is big motivation here to keep growing and to get better here at Leicester. I didn’t feel they had it at Newcastle.”

Two years after leaving United, Perez won the FA Cup and Community Shield before months later his former club were taken over by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, PCP Partners and RB Sports and Media.

Perez slowly fell out of favour under then-manager Brendan Rodgers and was loaned to Real Betis for the remainder of the 2022-23 campaign.

Following Leicester’s relegation to the Championship, Perez departs at the end of his contract this month having made 114 appearances, including 15 goals.