Premier League • England

Arsenal’s new winger hopes depend on Nicolas Pepe, but Manchester United could scupper transfer

Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe

Arsenal’s hopes of recruiting a new winger this month have been boosted by the news that French side Nice are understood to be discussing a loan move for Nicolas Pepe.

Pepe has failed to find the form that saw Arsenal pay a club-record £72m to Lille in the summer of 2019. In fact he has been a huge disappointment under Unai Emery and Mikel Arteta.

Emery signed the winger and claimed he was “wanted by many of the top teams in Europe”. But his stats are a miserable read with just 27 goals in 112 games, as well as 21 assists. 

He has not featured this season under Arteta and the Spaniard refused to dress up the situation at his Friday press conference.

Asked about the player Arteta said: “What we can communicate we always do when it’s the right moment.

“We discussed that we have a big squad and we’ve made some decisions and allowed some players to leave. Until the end of the window it’s possible that anything can happen with any player.”

The Atheltic reports that Nice are in talks with Arsenal over a temporary move for Pepe.

It’s a potential deal that Arteta will be praying gets done. The Gunners boss has been unable to get anything from the Ivory Coast winger.

And Arteta is now looking to offload Pepe in order to revamp his wide options. Those options depend on Pepe and his wage being removed from the Arsenal wage bill.

The report claims that Arteta is focused on adding a winger that can go straight into the first XI.

Teenage forward Marquinhos is expected to stay with the club rather than leave on loan. The 19-year-old, who arrived from Sao Paulo looked destined for a loan move to get some valuable experience.

Nicolas Pepe or Amad Diallo for Nice?

However, Arteta has said the player will not leave this year.

“We’re very happy with him, he’s adapted really well,” said Arteta.

But Arsenal are still hunting for a wide option and Fabrizio Romano claimed this week that an “under-the-radar” signing was possible.

A deal similar to the transfer which saw Fabio Vieira arrive out of the blues has been touted.

The highly-rated midfielder signed from Porto for £34m, including add-ons in a deal which was kept quiet until his arrival at the end of June. And if Arsenal can strike a deal to offload Pep then they will be a step closer to pursuing a new addition.

One problem though could well be Nice’s interest in Manchester United winger Amad Diallo.

The Ligue 1 side will only likely secure one of either Pepe or Diallo and it’s thought Diallo would be a far cheaper option with regards to wages.