Nicolas Pepe’s future at Arsenal remains uncertain as he has been unable to secure a transfer to any of Europe’s top six leagues.
Following a season-long loan at Nice in Ligue 1, where he struggled due to injuries, Pepe’s chances to showcase his abilities were hindered.
Despite being left out during Mikel Arteta’s United States tour this summer, potential resolutions to the Ivorian international’s predicament seem to be emerging, marking the end of a four-year project initiated with a hefty £72 million investment.
Bukayo Saka’s emergence under Arteta’s coaching, along with the Spaniard’s tactical preferences, rendered Pepe redundant in the team’s setup.
Despite this, Arsenal had committed to a long-term contract, which included a gradual increase in his wages, rising from £100,000 to £140,000 per week in 2021, amounting to an annual expenditure of around £7.3 million.
The Gunners are reportedly seeking a transfer fee of approximately £2 million for Pepe’s departure, with potential moves to clubs in Turkey and Saudi Arabia still on the negotiating table.
Throughout the summer, Pepe displayed hesitancy in committing to a new club, perhaps in the anticipation of better opportunities arising.
However, with many top leagues unable to sign players, the chances for such opportunities have diminished, hinting at a forthcoming agreement.
The potential departure of Pepe would lead to significant savings in wages and a potential transfer fee, amounting to around £9.3 million.
This departure would also free up a spot in the squad, which could potentially drop to 24 players if Cedric Soares also moves on.
This vacant roster spot could then be utilized to bring in a new player during the January transfer window, addressing the lack of depth in the right-wing position, which has been evident in Pepe’s absence.
However, given the long-term injury to Jurrien Timber and ongoing concerns with Thomas Partey’s fitness, sporting director Edu Gaspar might consider exploring reinforcements in the defense and midfield areas.
The team’s performance in the coming months will likely influence their position in the league standings and subsequently impact their activity in the winter transfer market.