Premier League • England

Arsenal transfer news: Record signing Nicolas Pepe among seven players on chopping block to fund triple raid

Nicolas Pepe, Ashley Young, Arsenal v Aston Villa, March 2022.

Arsenal are reportedly looking to offload as many as seven players to fund more spending before the summer transfer window closes on September 1.

The Gunners have already spent £83million on a quartet of new recruits in Gabriel Jesus, Fabio Vieira, Marquinhos and Matt Turner. However, Mikel Arteta has more targets in mind as he looks to build a squad capable of breaking into the top four.

Leicester midfielder Youri Tielemans remains the Spaniard’s No.1 target, with the player keen on a move.

But for Arteta to make another notable addition, he must look to offload some fringe stars first.

The Sun claims that record signing Nicolas Pepe, Bernd Leno, Hector Bellerin, Lucas Torreira, Pablo Mari, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Reiss Nelson are all available for transfer. However, the seven names are yet to attract any serious offers.

The fact that not a single club has come forward with a concrete offer for Pepe does not look good on Arsenal, given they forked out £72million to land the attacker from Lille in 2019.

Fulham, meanwhile, have shown an interest in Leno – who may yet opt to stay in London.

Bellerin was keen on turning his loan at Real Betis last term into a permanent deal. However, nothing has come of that so far and he is back in pre-season training.

Midfielder Torreira was on loan at Fiorentina last season but they only offered £6m for his services. That figure is well below what the Gunners are looking for.

Mari, meanwhile, was another player sent out on a temporary switch in 2021-22. The centre-back spent the campaign at Udinese, while Maitland-Niles and Nelson enjoyed loan spells at Roma and Feyenoord respectively.

The duo even went head-to-head in the Europa League Conference as the Italian outfit came out on top.

Tielemans still tops Arteta list

As for incomings, Arsenal still want to wrap up a deal for Belgium star Tielemans.

The midfielder is likely to cost in the region of £30m, although Manchester United are also chasing his signature.

The Gunners have also enquired about Lazio’s Sergej Malinkovic-Savic. However, he is two years older than Tielemans and would cost in excess of £50million.

One player the north London club are unlikely to get, however, is Leeds winger Raphinha.

Arsenal did table a £55m bid for the attacker, but he still looks likely to join Barcelona.

Ajax centre-back Lisandro Martinez is another on Arteta’s radar, with the Gunners determined to get their man.

However, at this stage, Manchester United are more likely to get a £40m deal over the line.