Premier League • England

Arsenal ready to take £47m hit in order to offload costly flop and bolster Arteta war chest

Nicolas Pepe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette

Arsenal are reportedly willing to completely cut their losses on Nicolas Pepe this summer, having splashed out a club-record £72million on the winger just three years ago.

The Gunners beat a number of elite European rivals to snap up the attacker from Lille back in 2019. At that time, Pepe had just scored 23 goals and added 12 assists for the Ligue 1 club.

Arsenal boss at the time, Unai Emery, wanted Pepe as an upgrade to Alex Iwobi. He also felt adding the 26-year-old to the mix alongside Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette would give the Gunners a lethal attacking threat.

The Ivory Coast international has been forced to take a back seat to Arsenal’s younger talent since Mikel Arteta came in.

Indeed, Pepe has made just five Premier League starts this term, scoring once. Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe have all been preferred in the wider positions to the record signing.

The forward still has two years left on his current contract. However, with seemingly no hope of an extension being agreed, it looks like Arsenal are willing to cut their losses.

Indeed, there was interest in the player in January, only for the Gunners to turn it down as they did not want to weaken their squad midway through the campaign.

Arsenal favourites for Memphis Depay this summer

Arsenal favourites for Memphis Depay this summer

Arsenal have emerged as favourites to sign Memphis Depay from Barcelona this summer

Ligue 1 interest in Arsenal winger

Both Lyon and Marseille were touted as potential destinations, and the Daily Express reports Arsenal will look to sell this summer.

The report claims that recouping £25m for Pepe will give Arteta funds to bring in a new central striker.

The Gunners chief is also expected to try and strengthen his back four. However, he will be able to call on William Saliba for next season after the centre-back’s loan spells away.

The young defender has excelled during his time at Marseille and even earned a France call-up last month.

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