Arsenal are now reportedly openly seeking suitors for Nicolas Pepe, despite the apparent collapse of their pursuit of Raphinha.
Mark Mann-Bryans reports that Arsenal are openly looking for buyers for Nicolas Pepe this summer, but with his current valuation and wages, a loan move is the most likely outcome.
Spain is reportedly a possible destination for the winger, but perhaps the more interesting aspect of the news is what it means for Arsenal’s incoming business.
Arsenal were widely reported to be pursuing a deal for Leeds United’s Raphinha up until this week, but Chelsea and Barcelona have made major steps forward to seemingly push the Gunners out of the race.
When the Raphinha deal was a strong possibility, loaning or selling Pepe seemed like a necessity.
But you’d think it would be a different story if Arsenal don’t make a forward signing, as they’ll need someone to compete and rotate with Bukayo Saka.
So the fact that Arsenal are still actively pursuing a sale for Pepe suggests they still plan to bring someone in this summer, even if it’s not Raphinha.
Saka played all 38 Premier League games of the 2021/22 season, which he likely won’t be able to do again with the return of the Europa League and the mid-season World Cup.
Arsenal can’t go into the new season without a Saka alternative, so if Pepe really is on the way out at all costs, the Gunners have to either make a signing or show serious levels of faith in an academy player to step up.