Arsenal remains hopeful that Nicolas Pepe will soon depart the club. The Ivory Coast international is still technically with the team despite not featuring at all so far this season under Mikel Arteta. Although the Premier League’s summer transfer window closed last week, there are still options for Pepe.
The Evening Standard is reporting that the 28-year-old winger is being linked with Turkish duo Besiktas and Trabzonspor. Pepe previously blocked a potential move to Besiktas in August. However, he may have to reconsider his decision to play once again. The transfer window in Turkey does not close until September 15th.
Previous record transfer has not started a game for Arsenal since 2021
Pepe is currently in his final year under contract at Arsenal. He previously signed a five-year deal with the Gunners when he joined from Lille in 2019. Although he was the club’s most expensive signing at the time, the winger did not exactly deliver on the pitch. He has managed to score 16 goals and add nine assists in 80 total Premier League matches. Nevertheless, Pepe did provide key assists during Arsenal’s triumphant run to the FA Cup title in 2020.
After three campaigns with the Gunners, Pepe was sent out on loan at Ligue 1 side Nice last season. The forward netted eight goals in 28 total matches with the French club. Nice did have an option to make Pepe’s transfer permanent but eventually decided against the move.
Arsenal looking to clear Nicolas Pepe weekly wages
Arsenal is not going to pick up a significant transfer fee if it offloads Pepe. The Gunners previously shelled out a fee of about $87 million for the winger in 2019. While the Premier League club won’t recoup much of this massive fee, they will be looking to clear the player’s wages. Pepe earns around $174,000 each week. This is the eighth-highest salary in the squad. Pepe earns more than Martin Odegaard, Aaron Ramsdale and Gabriel Martinelli.
Assuming a deal cannot be brokered with a Turkish team, a mutual agreement to tear up Pepe’s contract could also happen. The winger does not currently even have a jersey number. Club brass previously gave his No. 19 shirt to Leandro Trossard in January.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Icon Sportswire
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