Premier League • England

Arsenal find buyer for failed signing, as Fabrizio Romano confirms it’s game over

Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe

Arsenal struggler Nicolas Pepe has been labelled ‘very close’ to signing with a European side, and Fabrizio Romano has confirmed negotiations are poised to ramp up.

Pepe, 28, was only displaced as Arsenal’s club-record buy upon the arrival of Declan Rice in July. Pepe cost a hefty £72m when plucked from Lille back in 2019 and it’s fair to say he’s not justified his lofty price tag.

While his first two years at the Emirates were far from the disaster many make out, the next two have done little to benefit the Gunners.

Pepe notched just one league goal in 20 appearances during the 2021/22 campaign. He was subsequently loaned to French side Nice last season.

There had been growing speculation Pepe could see his contract terminated if a buyer couldn’t be found. Indeed, Arsenal insider Charles Watts stressed to TEAMtalk he wouldn’t be at all surprised if that type of drastic action were taken.

Arsenal chief Edu has been the driving force behind terminating the contracts of many Arsenal stars he did not see a future at the club for.

Sead Kolasinac, Shkodran Mustafi, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mesut Ozil all met that fate.

Now, a fresh report from Transfermarkt Turkey has claimed Pepe will see his contract cancelled. Taking to Twitter, they also stated the Ivorian is ‘very close’ to joining Turkish giant Besiktas.

Fabrizio Romano added his take to the situation and appeared to suggest a contract termination isn’t in the works. However, he did confirm Besiktas are interested and a move – potentially a permanent transfer – will be discussed.

Romano labelled Besiktas’ interest as “genuine” and confirmed the winger is “out of the project at Arsenal and prepared to leave.”

The transfer guru concluded: “negotiations will take place in order to discuss [the] structure of [the] potential deal.”

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