Premier League • England

Medical underway as Arsenal attacker reneges on transfer decision and agrees next move

Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe

Arsenal are on the verge of offloading Nicolas Pepe to Besiktas after the winger began a medical with the Turkish side, according to reports.

Pepe has become a burden for Arsenal since his £72m move from Lille in 2019. While many people would be happy with a record of 27 goals from 112 games for a club like Arsenal, several critics do not think the Ivory Coast international has ever lived up to his price tag at the Emirates Stadium.

After spending last season on loan with Nice, where he scored eight goals in 28 games, Pepe has been looking for another Arsenal escape route this summer. Now, L’Equipe claims he is bound for Besiktas.

A couple of weeks ago, the same source claimed that Pepe was refusing to join Besiktas. However, per the latest update, he has had a change of heart.

It is now claimed that Pepe has agreed to go to Besiktas, who are putting him through a medical on Monday in Paris.

The brief report does not clarify whether the move will be for a transfer fee or after a contract termination, as has recently been speculated. Only one year remains on Pepe’s deal in north London.

Other familiar faces with Premier League experience in the Besiktas squad that Pepe will be linking up with include Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gedson Fernandes, Arthur Masuaku, Cenk Tosun, Rachid Ghezzal and Daniel Amartey.

New challenge due for Pepe

It will be Pepe’s first experience of Turkish football, since his club career to date has been spent exclusively between England and France.

Besiktas have Europa Conference League football on offer this season, having been drawn in a group with Club Brugge, Bodo/Glimt and Lugano. Pepe played in the same competition for Nice last season.

At the age of 28, he will now hope to find some stability and consistency before he reaches the twilight of his career.

The transfer window in Turkey remains open until September 15, which is why their clubs can sign players from Premier League sides even though the English window has closed.

However, the deadline for including a player in a squad list for the group stage of a UEFA competition is tonight, so Besiktas will be hoping to wrap up the formalities of the Pepe deal as quickly as possible if they want to utilise him to the maximum.

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