Arsenal will look to avoid the disastrous scenario currently unfolding with Mesut Ozil by attempting to offload their club record signing less than two years after he arrived.
The Gunners have made a stuttering start to the current campaign under Mikel Arteta.
Underwhelming league form has given them an early mountain to climb to qualify for next season’s champions league. By all accounts, they were lucky to escape with a point in their league encounter with Leeds last week.
One player who failed to aid their cause in that match was winger Nicolas Pepe.
The Ivory Coast star, 25, was given his marching orders after headbutting Ezgjan Alioski in the 51st minute.
His actions were condemned by Arteta, with a Spanish outlet subsequently reporting he is now surplus to requirements.
Now, that notion has been backed up by The Daily Star.
The British newspaper report that Pepe is ‘set to be eased out of Arsenal’. The club are said to be ‘desperate to avoid a repeat of the Mesut Ozil situation.’
Arsenal are conscious of Pepe’s re-sale value decreasing, and are said to be on board with Arteta continuing to publicly back the player as he did following his goal in the Europa League on Thursday.
The article notes that there are ‘growing concerns that he’s not cut out for the Premier League.’
The huge £72m fee set aside for Pepe reportedly remains ‘a bone of contention’ for the club’s hierachy.
In a damning line, the article reveals that ‘Arsenal bigwigs are now convinced they committed far too much cash’ for the player.
Exit avenues include a cash-plus-player deal, or a loan with an obligation to buy.
Aubmeyang reveals true thoughts on position
Meanwhile, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang claims he is happy to play in any role for Arsenal – but admits “everyone knows” he has a preferred position.
Aubameyang has mainly featured as a left winger for Arsenal this season, despite having a prolific record as a centre-forward.
The Arsenal captain may not have been expecting to play out wide on such a regular basis before committing his future to the club this summer, but it is a role he has had to fill.
So far, he has only scored two goals from nine Premier League games this season. His last goal came at the beginning of November.