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Premier League • England

Arsenal transfer incredibly collapses as attacker refuses to accept offer after mysterious U-turn

Nicolas Pepe up against Kylian Mbappe

Nicolas Pepe up against Kylian Mbappe

Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe will not be joining Besiktas this summer despite previous reports he had agreed terms with them, according to the latest updates.

Pepe has been looking for a way out of Arsenal after spending last season on loan with Nice. He is into the final year of his contract in north London and there is little room for him in Mikel Arteta’s plans for the first team.

Therefore, a move to Besiktas has been looking likely for Pepe. Earlier this month, reports suggested he had an agreement in place with the Turkish Super Lig side regarding personal terms.

However, an update from L’Equipe journalist Loic Tanzi has now revealed that Pepe “will not go to Besiktas”. He is said to have “refused the Turkish proposal”.

The reasons behind his apparent change of heart have not yet come to light.

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Pepe has not yet been called upon by Arsenal in a competitive game since his spell with Nice ended. More regular gametime would surely have awaited him in Turkey, but perhaps other factors have prompted him to say no to Besiktas.

Where Arsenal turn next after Pepe’s decision also remains to be seen. There have previously been claims that they could terminate his contract one year ahead of schedule.

End of the road for Pepe at Arsenal, but where next?

Pepe was a club-record signing for Arsenal when he arrived from Lille for £72m in 2019. However, his tallies of 27 goals and 21 assists from 112 appearances for the club, while far from terrible, were not deemed to represent a good enough return on the investment.

Arsenal now rely on Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli as their main wingers, with the likes of Leandro Trossard and Reiss Nelson providing support.

It was a formula that helped them finish second in the Premier League last season, whereas Pepe was part of a Nice team that only came ninth in Ligue 1.

The Ivory Coast international scored eight goals for his temporary employers across 28 appearances. Now, he will have to keep looking for his next challenge while Arsenal move forward without him.

Still only 28 years old, it would be a shame for Pepe’s career to stagnate completely, even if it is obvious by now that he isn’t going to reach the potential once predicted for him – certainly not at Arsenal anyway.