Premier League giants Arsenal are prepared to part ways with Nicolas Pepe following his struggles at Emirates.
According to Daily Mail, as relayed by Fichajes, Arsenal are looking to offload Nicolas Pepe in the upcoming January transfer window. It appears Mikel Arteta has lost his patience with the Ivorian, and the club will do everything they can to remove him from the squad in the coming months.
Formerly of LOSC Lille, Pepe had joined Arsenal back in 2019 for a record fee of €80 million. It was a massive gamble for the Gunners, who were going through a financial crisis at the time.
Almost two and a half years into his spell at Emirates, Pepe has been nothing short of a disaster for Arsenal. The winger has consistently underperformed, often struggling to settle into the more physical nature of English football.
In just under 100 competitive appearances, the Ivorian has netted 25 goals, only 15 of which have come in the Premier League. His tally of 18 assists is quite underwhelming for a player of his calibre. His below-par return at Emirates is the reason why Arteta has been forced to bank on young players such as Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka.
While that has proven to be a blessing in disguise, Arsenal are now keen on removing Pepe off their books. The winger is yet to even find the target in the new league season and has fallen behind Smith Rowe, Saka, Martin Odegaard and even Gabriel Martinelli in the pecking order.
Arsenal were recently willing to include Pepe in a direct swap deal involving him and top target Dejan Kulusevski. Unfortunately for them, Juventus have no intention of signing the former Lille starlet and are only interested in a cash payment of around €30-35 million.
The Gunners themselves are believed to be valuing Pepe at a similar price range, hoping to recoup some of the €80 million they had spent on him two and a half years ago. The 26-year-old has not been exclusively linked with any top European club as such, but him being available in the January market may raise a few eyebrows.
With the likes of Everton, Liverpool and Leeds United currently scouring the market for new attacking reinforcements, Arsenal should not find any problems finding a suitor for Pepe, although it remains to be seen how much they actually demand for the player.