NEWCASTLE United are hoping to complete the signing of Spanish youngster Ayoze Perez – but they will have to wait until the striker finishes his season with Tenerife.
The Magpies have moved into pole position to capture the 20-year-old forward as they look to get their transfer business done early this summer.
But any move will have to wait until Tenerife complete their league season, with the island club still having three matches to play.
Perez has scored 16 goals in 34 matches this season for Tenerife, albeit in Spanish football’s second tier.
However, his form has alerted Newcastle who need attacking reinforcements in time for next season.
Perez is reported to have a £2million buy-out clause in his contract, and is viewed by the Magpies as a player for the future who will provide back-up to their main strikers.
Portuguese side Porto were reportedly keen on the youngster, who has yet to represent Spain at any level, but Newcastle are believed to have stolen a march on their rivals.
They have opened talks with Tenerife over a deal for Perez, and are willing to offer him a four-year contract.
The forward line is a priority for the Magpies, with Loic Remy unlikely to return after his year-long loan spell, Shola Ameobi out of contract and set to move on, and Papiss Cisse injured until September with a broken kneecap.
Newcastle don’t have a good record of raiding Spanish football for signings, with previous buys Marcelino, Xisco and Albert Luque all proving to be expensive flops.
Meanwhile, the club has also been linked with a move for Manchester City midfielder Jack Rodwell, who is set to leave the Premier League champions this summer.
– ROSS GREGORY