Player sold by Newcastle United for £30m wanted in shock Barcelona move

Former Newcastle United star Ayoze Perez. (Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images)Former Newcastle United star Ayoze Perez. (Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images)
Former Newcastle United star Ayoze Perez. (Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images) | Getty Images
Ayoze Perez could join Barcelona this summer - five years after leaving Newcastle United for £30million.

Barcelona are reportedly plotting a shock move for former Newcastle United forward Ayoze Perez.

It’s been five years since Perez left the Magpies, where he bagged 48 goals and provided 17 assists in 195 appearances after joining from CD Tenerife in 2014.

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He was part of the team that won the Championship title in 2016-17, and one of his last acts in a black and white shirt was netting a Premier League hat-trick against Southampton to avoid relegation in April 2019.

Former Newcastle United star Ayoze Perez. (Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images)Former Newcastle United star Ayoze Perez. (Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images)
Former Newcastle United star Ayoze Perez. (Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images) | Getty Images

In the following summer, the Spaniard left to join Leicester City after they triggered his £30million release clause. He cited the exit of Rafa Benitez and a lack of ambition under then owner Mike Ashley as his reasons for moving on.

Perez said: “In this case, Leicester gave me such a great opportunity to come here. 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.

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“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 the North East, Perez lifted the FA Cup and Community Shield before months later his former club were taken over by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia-led consortium.

And that coincided with Perez beginning to fall out of favour at the King Power Stadium. He was loaned to Real Betis for the remainder of the 2022-23 campaign before completing a permanent switch.

In his season and a half with Betis, the 30-year-old has netted 15 times in 58 appearances. Eleven of those goals have come this season and according to Spanish newspaper Diario AS, Barcelona are showing interest. It’s claimed Perez has a small release clause of £3.4million.

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