Premier League • England

Arsenal flop set for embarrassing new low with ‘contract termination’ considered; one Turkish team eyeing swoop

Arsenal chief Edu and manager Mikel Arteta

Arsenal are reportedly debating whether to terminate the contract of former record signing Nicolas Pepe in what would be a humiliating rejection for the winger, while one Turkish side are interested in snapping him up.

Pepe impressed while at French club Lille, registering 37 goals and 18 assists in 79 appearances. This prompted Arsenal to smash their transfer record by spending a huge £72million on him in August 2019.

However, the right winger has never been able to perform well on a consistent basis while at Arsenal. He has seen his spot taken by Bukayo Saka, who has emerged into arguably Arsenal’s most important player in recent seasons.

Pepe spent last term back in France following a loan switch to Nice. The Ivorian started off well at Nice but missed a majority of the final few months of the season due to a knee injury. Overall, his record stood at eight goals and one assist in 28 matches.

Pepe is now back at the Emirates. But it is unlikely he will play any role in Mikel Arteta’s first team during the 2023-24 campaign as Arsenal are trying to get rid of him.

According to the latest from Sky Sports, Arsenal are ‘continuing to assess viable options’ for Pepe’s departure from North London.

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And one possibility that has cropped up is Gunners sporting director Edu terminating Pepe’s contract to allow him to leave on a free transfer.

The wide man has slightly less than a year left to run on his current deal. Due to this, Arsenal would need to pay off a significant amount of his remaining wages to terminate the contract.

Arsenal ready to terminate outcast’s contract – report

Such a move would also see Arsenal miss out on a whopping £72m, the fee they originally spent on Pepe.

But this is an outcome Arsenal are considering as Pepe is nowhere near Arteta’s starting eleven. In addition to Saka, Arteta can also utilise Reiss Nelson, Leandro Trossard and Gabriel Martinelli in wide areas.


Pepe being released from his Arsenal contract would be an embarrassing new low in his career. Despite this, he would still have an option on the table.

Sky Sports add that Turkish Super Lig outfit Besiktas have been debating whether to take Pepe on loan for the season.

Should Arsenal release the 28-year-old, then this would allow Besiktas to land him on a permanent basis for no transfer fee.

Besiktas signing Pepe would clearly be a risk, given the fact he is very low on confidence. But if Besiktas manager Senol Gunes can get Pepe back to his best, then the move could prove to be an effective one.

Meanwhile, an Arsenal player has become the number one target for a major Scottish side this summer, as per a journalist.