Nicolas Pepe is fed up with his lack of game time under Mikel Arteta at Arsenal and has instructed his new agent to find him a new club in the summer transfer window
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Nicolas Pepe is reportedly ready to push for a transfer away from Arsenal this summer.
Pepe joined Arsenal in a club-record £72million move from Lille in 2019 but has been pushed to the fringes of Mikel Arteta’s squad this season. The Ivory Coast international has contributed just three goals and five assists in 22 appearances for the Gunners this campaign.
Arteta has preferred to start Bukayo Saka on the right wing in his usual 4-2-3-1 formation, with Pepe handed just five starts in the Premier League all season. That frustration has now come to a head, with the 26-year-old seeking a transfer away from north London this summer.
According to football.london , Pepe has changed agents and instructed his representative to find him a new club. That eventuality would suit Arsenal, who are reportedly happy to entertain offers for Pepe, who is deemed expendable by Arteta and sporting director Edu after contributing 27 goals and 20 assists in 111 appearances altogether for the club.
Pepe’s reduced standing at Arsenal has become increasingly clear in recent weeks following two poor performances. First he was reprimanded by Gunners coach Albert Stuivenberg for surrendering possession dangerously in the closing stages of the 2-1 win over Leeds, before putting in another lacklustre display off the bench in the 2-0 defeat by Newcastle on Monday.
It seems that those forgettable cameos off the substitutes’ bench could be Pepe’s final offerings, with just one game left this season, against Everton on Sunday. However, Arsenal could find Pepe difficult to offload, given he still has two years left on his contract and reportedly earns around £140,000 per week.
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Marseille and Lyon have previously been linked with a move, with the French clubs reportedly willing to offer him a route back to where he made his name, playing for Lille in Ligue 1.
Whatever happens with Pepe, Arsenal are braced for another busy summer transfer window. Having spent over £150million to bring in six new players last summer, another influx of players is expected this off-season, whether they miss out on Champions League football or not.
With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gone and Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah out of contract on July 1, a striker is a priority for Arteta. Manchester City ’s Gabriel Jesus is the primary target for the role, with Erling Haaland ’s arrival reportedly making the Brazilian open to a move elsewhere.
According to football.london, the Gunners are willing to table £35million to sign Jesus, whose representatives have already spoken with Edu. Jesus is out of contract with City in June 2023, meaning a decision will have to be made either way this summer.
Meanwhile, Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans is also being targeted. Like Jesus, the Belgian international is about to enter the final year of his contract and is believed to be keen on securing a move elsewhere this summer.