According to transfer rumors, Arsenal are set to offload Nicolas Pepe after the forward headbutted an opponent in the game against Leeds. When the Gunners drew with Leeds, the Ivory Coast international was sent off early at the start of the second half for clashing heads with Leeds player Ezgjan Aliosk.
Though Nicolas Pepe has apologized to Mikel Arteta, Arsenal fans and team-mates after hisred card at Leeds, it might look like there is no way back for him and the Gunners are planning to offload him during the January transfer window. Here are 3 potential destination for Nicolas Pépé.
The Blaugrana are reportedly interested in a potential transfer deal for Arsenal misfit Nicolas Pépé. The Ivory Coast international scored 22 Ligue 1 goals in the 2018/19 season but only scored 5 goals in 31 Premier League appearances last season and 1 goal in 8 appearances this season. Though the 25-year old is doing better in the Europa League, Arsenal are willing to cut their losses and sell him to Barcelona next month if Barça is willing to make decent bid. According to Spanish outlet Todo Fichajes, Barcelona is willing to pay £36million after Arsenal bought him for £72.00m from Lille one year and a half ago.
The Serie A giants are said to be among a handful of clubs monitoring Pepe’s situation as they are looking to strengthen their attack as they could be a contender for the Scudetto this season. Milan CEO Ivan Gazidis maintains a close relationship with the Arsenal management which could help in finding an agreement (loan spell or percentage of future sale) between the two parties. A second reason why Nicolas Pépé could be convinced to move to Milan is that I Rossoneri player Rafael Leao and Nicolas Pépé are good friends after they played together at Lille.
Or could Nicolas Pépé return to the league where it all started for him: the Ligue 1? According to the bookmakers, PSG has an equal chance as AC Milan in acquiring the former Lille player. But it seems Paris Saint-Germain is looking to make a bid on Christiano Ronaldo and are not interested in signing Pépé. If they don’t succeed in getting Portuguese legend Ronaldo, they might turn their attention to Pépé.
Stay at Arsenal
Most European top clubs are cash-strapped and are not willing to spend a lot of money in January or next summer and it is not unlikely Arsenal will give their forward a second chance at the Emirates stadium. Mikel Arteta has said that a loan spell is out of the question, which would be the only way a lower-ranked Premier League club could acquire Pépé and the manager does not want to derail his career at the club. The Spanish manager can see that the forward is putting in an effort to improve his game and he will be monitoring his progress in the coming months.