Arsenal concerned and launch investigation into £72m Pepe deal

Date published: Friday 14th August 2020 1:39 - Jonny Whitfield

Nicolas Pepe Arsenal TEAMtalk

Arsenal have launched an internal investigation to decide if they overpaid in bringing Nicolas Pepe to north London for £72million, according to a report.

Pepe signed for the Gunners from Lille last summer, with the £72million fee spread across six years.

Arsenal paid £20million up front and will send the first instalment of the other £52million this summer.

The winger scored eight goals and registered 10 assists in his debut season but it is not his performances which have raised eyebrows, according to ESPN.

The source claims Arsenal are “re-examining” the deal as part of the club’s wider recruitment overhaul that saw a number of job losses at the club.

Several top scouts lost their roles with the Gunners, while 55 other jobs across the club went.

And while the financial impact of the coronavirus further hampered Arsenal, the club hope the investigation will “streamline” their future operations.

The investigation also comes after intermediaries working on initial talks over Pepe’s move were “taken aback” by the fee Arsenal were willing to pay.

The fact that Arsenal made such a long-term commitment to Lille and Pepe has concerned the club. They will now review their scouting processes and negotiating tactics in a bid to strike better deals in future.

However, ESPN adds that the Gunners feel no regret for the deal and they feel impressed with Pepe’s first season.

Arsenal’s finances have made several headlines in recent months. Most of the club’s players and staff took pay cuts amid the pandemic in April.

More recently, the Gunners promised to continue investing in first-team development despite their job losses. What’s more, Mesut Ozil – who refused the pay cut – said it was unfair on players.


Willian TEAMtalk

On Friday, Arsenal confirmed that former Chelsea winger Willian has signed a three-year deal with the club.

The Brazilian moves across London on a free transfer after his contract with the Blues expired.

One report claims the deal could cost Arsenal as much as £35million.

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