Barcelona are one of ‘several teams’ keen on handing Nicolas Pepe a new career avenue by signing the Arsenal winger, according to a report.
The 25-year-old‘s red card against Leeds last Sunday added to his poor form since moving to the Gunners. Indeed, Pepe has failed to hit the heights he showed at Lille before his £72million move to north London.
The Ivory Coast international’s appearance – and goal – against Molde on Thursday offered him a reprieve.
But his Premier League suspension makes it unclear for now if he will retain a place in Mikel Arteta’s top-flight plans.
Either way, transfer speculation has already linked him with a move away. Indeed, the latest report from Todofichajes claims that Barcelona are among the teams keen on Pepe.
The report says that Barca are ‘desperately’ trying to reinforce their attack with new additions. It adds that Pepe could be available for €40million (£36million).
Indeed, boss Ronald Koeman was keen to sign Lyon winger Memphis Depay in the recent window, a deal which did not materialise.
And while the report does not speculate on Lionel Messi’s future, the Argentine is on course to leave in the coming months.
Messi has entered the final year of his contract, after backing away from an exit this summer.
What’s more, there are doubts about Ousmane Dembele’s future, after his recent injury troubles. In fact, Manchester United have been the subject of links with the Frenchman.
Add to that the fact that winger Ansu Fati will be out until around March with a knee injury and adding attacking recruits seems plausible.
Report outlines Arsenal, Pepe intentions
Previous reports have also suggested that AC Milan would also be keen if Arsenal decide to move Pepe on.
Pepe could indeed go, with one newspaper claiming that the Gunners are desperate to avoid a repeat of Mesut Ozil’s situation. Arteta has frozen the club’s highest earning player out, causing widespread controversy.
What’s more, the Gunners are conscious of Pepe’s re-sale value waning. As such, they are reportedly on board with the notion of backing the winger in public.
Meanwhile, pundit Paul Ince has raised concerns about a second Arsenal star whose drop in form “doesn’t look right”.