As part of their planned summer overhaul, Arsenal might have to pay club-record signing Nicolas Pepe to leave the club this summer.
The 27-year-old Ivorian forward, who arrived at the Emirates Stadium in 2019 for a staggering £72m, has struggled to live up to expectations and could be on his way out as manager Mikel Arteta looks to revamp the squad this summer.
Pepe’s time at Arsenal has been marred by inconsistency, as he has failed to deliver the level of performances that were anticipated when he was signed.
He was eventually loaned out to Ligue 1 side Nice this season, where he has scored eight goals and provided one assist in 25 appearances.
Despite his talent, Pepe’s inability to cement his place in the Arsenal starting eleven has led the club to consider offloading him in the upcoming transfer window.
However, finding a suitable buyer for Pepe could prove to be a challenge for Arsenal, as his relatively underwhelming performances in France have diminished his market value even further.
Moreover, his reported £140,000-per-week wages and the remaining year on his current deal could deter potential suitors from making an offer.
Faced with the prospect of a lack of interest in Pepe, Arsenal may have to resort to paying off a portion of the player’s contract to facilitate his departure.
This would undoubtedly be a bitter pill to swallow for the North London club, as it would mean incurring a further financial loss on their record signing.
It would also serve as a stark reminder of the risk associated with high-profile transfers, as not all big-money signings live up to their price tags.
Despite the potential financial setback, Arsenal’s willingness to pay Pepe to leave the club underscores their commitment to building a competitive squad under Arteta’s guidance, and the owner’s willingness to back him.
The manager’s priority is to assemble a group of players capable of consistently challenging for major honours, and he is prepared to make tough decisions in order to achieve that goal.