Arsene Wenger says he wants to keep Lucas Perez at Arsenal but admits the forward could leave due to a lack of game time.
The forward has become frustrated at the Gunners after making just two Premier League starts and has admitted recently be could be tempted to return to former club Deportivo.
Wenger was asked about Perez’s future in his pre-match press conference ahead of Wednesday’s clash at Southampton and says he deserves to have played more this season.
“He is again fit. He was back in training yesterday,” he said.
“He’s a top quality striker but I couldn’t give him the games he wants and deserves, I confess that. I feel a bit sorry for him.”
“If I am the manager I would love to keep him but we have to sit down and see if he has a realistic chance to play.”
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Wenger also rejected suggestions that a failure to secure Champions League football for next season could affect his club’s transfer plans.
“[No] because we are in a strong financial situation,” he added.
“For me I want to play at the top level and the top level is the Champions League. We want to play with and against the best.”
Wenger’s words on Perez are revealing with the forward having impressed on the rare occasions he has been allowed a chance in the first-team.
However, it would be a surprise if he was still at the club next season having become frustrated with his bit-part role at the club.