Arsenal facing £40m+ loss on player who could leave the club this summer
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Arsenal are facing a loss of at least £40 million on club-record signing Nicolas Pepe, with the winger reportedly in line to leave north London this summer.
The Gunners splashed out a fee of £72 million to bring in the Ivory Coast winger from Lille in 2019. In his final season in France, Pepe smashed in 22 goals and provided 11 assists in 38 Ligue 1 appearances.
But he has so far been unable to replicate that form on a consistent basis at Arsenal, although did score 16 goals in all competitions during the 2020/21 season.
At the beginning of this campaign, Mikel Arteta elected to send him out on loan, with the winger returning to France to sign for Nice.
Explaining the rationale behind the move, Arteta explained (quotes via football.london): "I think Nico has tried to deal with that [price tag] in the best possible way. He is not responsible for the price a club pays for him.
"He has tried everything. His attitude and the way he is, is just phenomenal. You just have to meet the person because you just love him for the way he is.
"But then, in terms of the decision you have to make on the pitch, who do you select? We made other decisions, and obviously that has had an impact on the chances he had to prove his quality.
"It's been three years, and he had some very good moments, some others where he hasn't really contributed much in terms of minutes."
Pepe to leave Arsenal?
According to The Sun, Arsenal are willing to listen to offers for a number of the club's fringe players, including Pepe.
The Ivorian currently has less than 18 months remaining on the five-year contract he initially signed when he joined the club in 2019.
The 27-year-old could discuss pre-contract terms with another club as early as January, which means the Gunners would risk losing him on a free if they do not extend his deal or sell him.
His market value currently stands at €22 million, as per Transfermarkt, meaning Arsenal stand to lose €50 million (around £44 million) if they sell him for that figure.
His value has consistently dropped since arriving at the Emirates Stadium, and the Gunners will want to receive the highest possible fee for the winger should they decide to sell him this summer.
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Topics: Arsenal, Premier League, Nicolas Pepe, Mikel Arteta, Transfers