Ayoze Pérez

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Leicester splash record $38 million for Ayoze Perez

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Leicester City have spent big to sign Ayoze Perez from Newcastle United.

The Spanish striker, 25, has joined the Foxes for a club-record $38 million, with Perez signing a four-year contract at the King Power Stadium.

Perez has spent the past five seasons at Newcastle and scored 48 goals in 192 appearances in all competitions for the Magpies.

Speaking about his move to Leicester, Perez is excited to help Brendan Rodgers push the Foxes towards European qualification.

“I’m very happy and very pleased. I’m very proud to be part of the Leicester family and I can’t wait to get started,” Perez said. “The Club want to keep growing as much as they can and that’s something I like. I spoke with the manager and that was important. That made me feel very comfortable about the decision to come here.”

Perez has been far from prolific during his time on Tyneside, but he did score 12 times in the Premier League last season which is his best-ever return. He has also scored the winner in each of his last two visits to Leicester as a Newcastle player, so maybe that also had something to do with this…

Rodgers said Perez is “quick, has a good eye for goal and he’s experienced in the Premier League” and added that he compliments Leicester’s other attackers well.

Where does he fit into this Leicester side? It looks like he is the long-term replacement for Jamie Vardy, who is now 32 years old.

The Foxes will rarely play with two up front as their wide midfielders Demarai Gray, Harvey Barnes, James Maddison and Marc Albrighton offer plenty of ammunition to the central striker.  Perez may have to bide his time to start in this Leicester attack, but this is a heck of a lot of money for Leicester to spend to just have a nice option on the bench, especially with the likes of Kelechi Iheanacho and Islam Slimani still on the books.

It is likely the latter two strikers will leave this summer, and Perez is certainly more similar to Vardy than both of them. This is one of those transfers that initially makes you scratch your head, but the more you think about it, the more it makes sense.

If Perez was capable of scoring 10-12 goals per season in a team set up to defend first like Newcastle, he should be handed more chances at an attack-minded outfit like Leicester.

With Youri Tielemans lined up to arrive permanently and young right back James Justin signed, Rodgers’ revolution at Leicester is well and truly underway. After the way the Foxes finished last season, a push for seventh place is a very real possibility this season.

As for Perez’s former team Newcastle, his departure is another hammer blow for the Magpies who lost manager Rafael Benitez last week.

Transfer wrap: Leicester buys $38M Newcastle star; Latest on Maguire

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The most amazing part of Tuesday’s transfer buzz was not that Newcastle United had sold long-time attacker Ayoze Perez, rather the price tag.

Whispered as a $22 million target for clubs in his native Spain for some time, Perez has reportedly been sold within the Premier League for a whopping $37 million.

Is Leicester already spending that Harry Maguire money?

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Assuming a passed physical, the Magpies will add that to their new coach’s transfer kitty (allegedly).

Perez, 25, would finish his time at Newcastle with 195 appearances. He led the team in scoring last season with 12 goals, his best league performance with the Magpies in any division.

We know transfer fees are going up every year, but wow.

  • Speaking of bonkers fees, this one was suspected but still eyebrow-raising: Spurs won the rights to Tanguy Ndombele of Lyon with a record $82 million purchase which slaughters the $45 million the North London side spent on Davinson Sanchez.
  • Spurs also added Leeds United winger Jack Clarke for $11 million, and will loan him back for the 2019-20 season.
  • Sky Sports says Manchester City is willing to match Manchester United’s $90 million bid for Leicester’s Harry Maguire, a bid which was reportedly denied. Maguire has four years remaining on a rich contract, but reports continue to mention his willingness to leave for UEFA Champions League pastures despite plenty of love for the King Power Stadium club.

Early double sparks Magpies rout of Fulham (video)

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Fulham will head to the Championship on a sour note, while Rafa Benitez has something to cling to in contract talks with the club as Newcastle wins 4-0 at Craven Cottage to wrap up the Premier League campaign. Jonjo Shelvey‘s stunner opened things up with Ayoze Perez following up, and Fabian Schar sealed the deal in the second half, with an exclamation mark from Solomon Rondon.

The game opened up immediately and Newcastle scored inside the opening 10 minutes, on a brilliant strike from Jonjo Shelvey. A looping volley from the top-right corner of the box found the opposite corner, a highlight-reel goal on the final day of the season.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Newcastle bagged the second just two minutes later with Perez bundling home to double the lead. Sergio Rico couldn’t handle an initial shot from Christian Atsu, and Perez was first to reach the rebound.

Fulham held a significant amount of possession through the first half, but couldn’t do much with it. Newcastle, meanwhile, made the most of its touches, nearly finding a third before the break with Rico nervously palming away a corner which looked destined to find the back of the net.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

The Whites looked better after the break, but Newcastle held at the back amid a few corners to defend. The Magpies went further ahead on the hour mark with Fabian Schar getting wide open on a corner and bagging a header to make it 3-0. The game ended in open end-to-end fashion and the Magpies got a fourth as Rico again couldn’t collect at the post and Rondon finished from an absurdly tight angle with stoppage time beckoning.

The Whites finish the season in 19th on 26 points, a massively disappointing result given their summer spending spree. Newcastle will cling to 13th on 45 points, and hope that the punctuating result can help convince their Spanish boss to stay.

Gross goal saves Brighton point, maybe PL status (video)

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  • Seagulls move four points clear of drop
  • Magpies unbeaten in three
  • Perez scores fifth in three matches

Pascal Gross‘ late goal, Brighton and Hove Albion’s first in 735 minutes, saved the Seagulls a massive point in a 1-1 draw with Newcastle United at the Amex Stadium on Saturday.

Ayoze Perez scored his 11th goal of the season as Newcastle United, having scored thrice last week and once the previous match day.

Newcastle now has 42 points, good for 13th, while Brighton is four points clear of 18th place Cardiff City.

Brighton faces Arsenal and Man City in its remaining fixtures, while Cardiff has Crystal Palace and Manchester United.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Newcastle was far superior over the first hour, and were denied a pair of penalty shouts.

In the first half, Salomon Rondon was felled in the box after tangling legs with Bruno. Early in the second frame, it was a close range handball that went uncalled off a corner kick. The first was more interesting than the second.

Perez scored his goal at the quarter hour mark, taking a chested layoff from Salomon Rondon and absolutely screaming a shot into the upper reaches of the goal from 12 yards. 1-0 Magpies.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

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Brighton snapped into the match after the hour mark, but Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka was in command of his 18 as the pressure increased at the Amex.

A Pascal Gross flick of a Solly March cross nearly met Glenn Murray at the back post but Dubravka was wise to the play.

Brighton found its way through when Bruno’s cross was headed back across goal by Murray, and Gross snapped at the chance to nod it over the line.

The Seagulls kept pushing, and were easily the better side over the final stages.

A 90th minute corner saw Murray flash a header over the goal in what would’ve almost certainly sealed the Seagulls’ PL status.

Ayoze Perez hat trick leads Newcastle past Southampton (video)

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  • Newcastle now 10 points clear of 18th
  • Perez scores both Magpies goals
  • Southampton five points ahead of drop zone

Ayoze Perez a hat trick as Newcastle United held off Southampton’s second half charge in a 3-1 win at St. James’ Park on Saturday.

Mario Lemina scored a beauty for Saints in a game of high quality goals.

Newcastle goes 12th with 41 points, while Saints remain 16th with 36.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Newcastle wanted a penalty when an early shot from Ayoze Perez was blocked by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg‘s arm.

Miguel Almiron took a Salomon Rondon flick and hit a wayward cross that Angus Gunn slapped wide of the goal.

The dam burst near the half-hour mark, when Perez scored both of his goals.

The first came with a fine, physical dribble right which the Spaniard punctuated with a hard shot across his body and inside the far post.

Then it was 2-0 within four minutes, Perez sliding onto the end of a Rondon cross to slap the ball inside the goal.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

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Saints deserved a goal and nearly had one through Maya Yoshida before Lemina answered the bell.

Off the bench, the ex-Juve midfielder scored from 21 yards after Stuart Armstrong and Nathan Redmond combined to set the table.

But Matt Ritchie‘s diving header was redirected by Perez for an 87th minute insurance goal and the completion of a fine hat trick.

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