Arsenal, Chelsea given sublime transfer opportunity with Brazilian star available for less than release clause
Premier League teams Arsenal and Chelsea may be able to sign FC Porto’s Pepe Aquino for less than this release clause, according to reports.
Pepe was in decent form last season, registering six goals and six assists during 42 appearances. He helped Porto win back the Primeira Liga title from Sporting Lisbon. They also emerged victorious in the Taca de Portugal, the country’s version of the FA Cup.
Pepe, who can operate as a winger on either flank, had a slow start to the current season but began to pick up the pace in the build up to the World Cup. He managed league goals in consecutive games against Braga and Portimonense. The Brazilian also notched two assists as Porto swept Pacos Ferreira aside with a 4-0 victory on November 5.
Pepe represents Brazil U23s currently, but unfortunately he is some way off making the senior squad. That is because of the country boasting top attacking talents like Neymar, Vinicius Jr, Raphinha and Gabriel Martinelli.
Pepe was hoping to continue where he left off and enjoy a successful remainder of the season after the World Cup break. Sadly for the 25-year-old though, things have not worked out that way.
He was left on the bench during Porto’s first game back, as they beat Gil Vicente 2-0 in the Allianz Cup (Portugal’s league cup). Pepe did manage to come on with 23 minutes remaining, but he will have been frustrated about not starting.
To make matters worse for the wide man, he failed to start in Porto’s following league match on December 28. Manager Sergio Conceicao instead went with Pepe’s compatriot Galeno on the left flank.
Pepe did manage another substitute appearance, this time lasting just over 20 minutes, but Porto did not miss him. They ran out comfortable 5-1 winners.
Primeira Liga man eligible for cheaper move
The star appears to have lost his place in the starting eleven. And this could see him move to England for a reduce price.
According to Sport Witness, who refer to Portuguese outlet Record, Pepe is highly ‘coveted’ by both Arsenal and Chelsea.
When big clubs have previously enquired about signing him, Porto have simply pointed to his release clause. That stands at €75million (currently £66.4m).
But given the fact Pepe is now out of the Porto team, Record claim he could be allowed to leave for less money. They do not state how much this may be, but it seems Arsenal or Chelsea could get a discount when capturing Pepe.
It is an interesting time for Arsenal and Chelsea’s interest in the player to be brought up. After all, they are currently battling over the signing of Mykhaylo Mudryk.
Arsenal have submitted two bids for him, only for Shakhtar Donetsk to reject them both. And confidence is growing in the Chelsea camp that they can race in and steal Mudryk from Arsenal’s grasp.
Perhaps Arsenal could move for Pepe if they miss out on Mudryk to Chelsea. But the Primeira Liga ace is not the only Mudryk alternative on the Gunners’ radar.
They are also looking into a deal for a Serie A player, according to the latest reports coming out of Italy.