Football: West Ham sign Arsenal striker Lucas Perez, Leicester swoop for U-21 Croatian defender Filip Benkovic

Lucas Perez is West Ham's seventh signing of the close season.
Lucas Perez is West Ham's seventh signing of the close season.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/LUCASPEREZOFICIAL

LONDON (REUTERS) - West Ham have signed striker Lucas Perez from Arsenal on a three-year contract, both Premier League clubs confirmed on Thursday (Aug 9).

The 29-year-old is West Ham's seventh signing of the close season. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed, but local media said West Ham had paid about £4 million (S$7 million) for the Spaniard.

Perez joined Arsenal in August 2016 from Deportivo La Coruna but started just two Premier League games for the north London club, making another nine appearances off the bench, before being loaned back to the Spanish side the following season.

"I'm very happy to be here at such an historic club," he said in a statement on West Ham's website.

"I'm very excited, as West Ham are giving me the chance to stay in the Premier League and I'm very happy to be part of this new project."

With Andy Carroll set to miss West Ham's season opener at Liverpool on Sunday due to injury, West Ham's director of football Mario Husillos said Perez's arrival would increase new manager Manuel Pellegrini's options up front.

"His style is different from the other strikers we have available to us, and that gives the manager more options for our attacking play," Husillos said.

"Lucas also has experience of the Premier League with Arsenal, and is familiar with life here in London, which of course means that he will take less time to adapt and be ready."

Meanwhile, Leicester City signed Croatian defender Filip Benkovic from Dinamo Zagreb on a five-year deal on Thursday.

Leicester did not disclose the transfer fee, but British media reports said the 21-year-old cost about £13 million.

Benkovic, a Croatian Under-21 international, arrives at the King Power Stadium after an impressive 2017-18 campaign with Zagreb in which he made 30 appearances in all competitions and helped them clinch the Croatian league title.

"Filip is an exciting young player who has the potential to develop even more at Leicester," Leicester boss Claude Puel told the club website.

"He has made a big contribution to Dinamo Zagreb over the last three years and has also benefited from experiencing European football.

"I know he will give us some great options and competition in the squad and I'm delighted to have him here."

Benkovic will become Leicester's sixth close-season signing after Jonny Evans, James Maddison, Ricardo Pereira, Danny Ward and Rachid Ghezzal, subject to international clearance. The young defender will link up with his new team-mates ahead of Friday's league opener against Manchester United.

The English transfer window closes at 5pm (UK time) on Thursday.