Ayoze Perez is not expected to return to Tyneside for preseason training tomorrow, with his move to Leicester City nearing completion, according to the Chronicle.
And while his teammates are due back on Tyneside on on Thursday to begin their preparation for the new season, Perez is not expected to be among them.
It’s a matter of when not if with Perez now. The fact that he isn’t even expected to return to Tyneside is about a clear an indication as you can get that he is on his way out of the club, and fans will surely be devastated by the news. Not only does it come in the immediate aftermath of Rafa Benitez walking away from St. James’ Park, but the 25-year-odl was one of the Magpies’ most important figures last season. With 13 goals and two assists, he was vital in putting the ball in the back of the net, but his all-round play was also crucial for the Toon Army. 1.5 shots on goal per game and 1.2 key passes per match [Whoscored] show a player who was very much a creative live wire last season, and whose influence will be greatly missed. £30 million is a decent price for the player, to be fair, and if that money can be reinvested wisely it might not be the worst deal in the world. Whether it actually is, however, is another kettle of fish entirely.