Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted his regret over Lucas Perez's lack of game time this season, but wants to keep the Spaniard if he remains in charge of the club next term. If I am the manager, I would love to keep him.
"He's a top-quality striker and I couldn't give him the games that he wants and that he deserves. I don't understand and I never did understand what it means", Wenger said.
Manager Arsene Wenger, who spent over 17 million pounds to sign Perez from Deportivo La Coruna in August, has sympathy.
Despite coming off the bench for the majority of his performances, Perez has managed a respectable 7 goals for the Gunners over the course of the campaign, as well as chipping in with a number of assists.
Perez has managed just one league goal in 11 appearances this season, but he did net a hat-trick in the Champions League win over Basel late a year ago.
Sources have told ESPN FC that Wenger made it clear to Arsenal officials as early as January that he meant to continue as the club's manager and a new two-year contract offer was presented to him. "We have to sit down together and see if he has a reasonable chance to play or not next season", he said.
There are suggestions that Arsenal are keen to carry out structural changes around Wenger to push the club towards a new era from next season, with the appointment of director of football believed to be on the cards.
Club officials are also determined to make some statement signings to quell fan unrest in a summer that could see the departures of key men Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, who are both out of contract at the end of next season.
Arsenal kept alive their slim hopes of finishing in the top four with a 2-0 victory over Manchester United at the Emirates on Sunday. "It will be important that everybody in the squad contributes at the right moment".