Date: 7th May 2019 at 5:10pm
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The uncertainty hovering over Rafa Benitez time at the helm will not only be an uneasy situation for us fans, but also the players, who may find themselves at ease under the Spaniard and fear having to play for their futures again under somebody else.

A change of manager could see untold numbers of first-team regulars and fringe options try and force their way out of St James’ Park, and that is on top of the players who will become the sought-after treats of vultures circling Tyneside waiting for their chance to swoop.

Ayoze Perez falls into the latter category, it seems, as the Northern Echo have reported interest in the Spaniard from the Serie A, after Napoli emerged as a willing contender ready to joust with La Liga sides for the midfielder’s signature.

It is said that the Naples outfit have been scouting the 25-year-old throughout the second half of the campaign – a time in which he has flourished to become our top ‘scorer and put the points on the board that secured our top-flight survival.

The Northern Echo also note that while Benitez would be keen to retain Perez beyond the current campaign, he is now thought of as a £20million talent – the highest his transfer value has ever stood at.

Perez has even hinted in the past that he would be open to leaving Tyneside in search of a new challenge, which sparked rumours of a return to Spain – namely with Real Betis, who are set to finish the La Liga season in the middle of the table.

This is not the first time a publication have identified Napoli’s interest, either, as Calciomercato recently echoed the words of the Italian daily newspaper Il Mattino, which stated that Perez was one of the options under consideration at the San Paolo Stadium thanks to his ability to play any of the offensive positions.

Another name linked with Carlo Ancelotti’s side was Udinese star Rodrigo de Paul, who has nine goals and four assists to his name from the left and centre of midfield and attack this season.

Perez, meanwhile, has a goal involvement of 16 (12 scored, four assists) across all English domestic competitions.

 
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