Arsenal are reportedly ready to offload record signing Nicolas Pepe, with AC Milan having two factors that could work in their favour should they try a move.
According to Spanish outlet TF, the Ivorian has not adapted well to life in London after the Gunners made him their £72million record signing.
And the report states that Mikel Arteta has told the club’s board that they can find a new destination for him.
His unfortunate red card against Leeds appears to have been the final straw for Arteta. However, Arsenal are fully aware that they will not recoup what they paid for the player.
The report adds that Arsenal will loan Pepe out with a view to getting some of his value back before selling.
Severeal big clubs in Europe are said to be monitoring the situation, with MilanLive claiming that Milan are ‘thinking about it’.
The report calims that Milan are a ‘serious candidate’ for various reasons. It states that the sale of Samu Castillejo would generate €15m and also ‘open up a spot in the squad to be filled by someone younger, faster and with immeasurable potential’.
Ivan Gazidis and Rafael Leao also represent two allies for Milan, as cited by SempreMilan.
The CEO has remained on excellent terms with Arsenal and this could facilitate the negotiation. Leao, meanwhile, is a friend of Pepe as they were part of the same forward line at Lille.
The Serie A giants could aim for a loan with option to buy at a figure lower than the €50-60m Arsenal would likely demand.
ARSENAL STARLET LOOKING TO FORCE EXIT
William Saliba is willing to return to Saint-Etienne on loan in January, and could even take a huge wage cut to do so, according to reports.
Saliba signed for Arsenal last summer, but immediately returned to the French side to build experience. The loan spell did not entirely go to plan.
In the end, he made just 12 appearances in Ligue 1 before the season was curtailed. Saint-Ettiene were unable to push through a deal for him to return a second time.
Hence, it appeared Saliba would have a fresh start with Arsenal this season. However, that has not been the case.
Arsenal have not been able to find space for Saliba in their squad. Therefore, they did not register him to play in the Premier League or Europa League, essentially freezing him out of first team football.
Clearly, that has not been beneficial for his development – and coach Mikel Arteta knows it. Hence, there has been talk of another loan move for the teenager in January.
Now, Saint-Ettiene have stepped forward as a potential taker once more. According to Canal Plus (via Sport Witness), the French side still need a defender, and would gladly take Saliba back.
However, they may have some concerns about the finances of the deal. With that in mind, Saliba may have to make a sacrifice. Read more…