£72m Arsenal development as transfer trend continues

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 Pepe joined Arsenal from Lille for a fee of £72m

Africa’s most expensive footballer is expected to leave Arsenal this week after a disappointing four-year spell in North London.

Nicolas Pepe arrived at The Emirates Stadium in 2019 for a club-record fee at the time of £72m.

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The Ivorian struggled to find his feet in his first season in England and scored just five goals as Arsenal fell to an eighth place finish. The following season he showed signs of promise and doubled his goal tally but the Gunners once again missed out on Europe.

Pepe’s third year was affected by injury and he was mainly on the sidelines as the Gunners showed signs of improvement and he was deemed surplus to requirements last season during a disappointing loan spell at Nice.

Arsenal are aiming to win the title this season and Pepe has been frozen out of Mikel Arteta’s plans again this term and he has not played for the club since May 2022.

He has one year remaining on his existing deal at the club, but it is unlikely that he will stay for the remainder of that deal.

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French news outlet Le Equipe claims Pepe has agreed a deal to join Besiktas this year after initially rejecting a move earlier in the summer.

The Turkish transfer window does not close until 15 September which gives them extra time to complete a permanent transfer.

Arsenal are said to be open to letting him go for a nominal fee in order to get his £140,000-a-week wages off their books. The clubs must now agree on an amount that benefits all parties involved.

Arsenal have already sold 13 first team players this summer and Pepe is not the only player to be linked with a move away from North London.

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Reports from Turkish outlet Ajansspor claim that midfielder Jorginho is a target for 19-time champions Fenerbahce who are in the market for a deep lying midfielder.

Jorginho’s contract also expires in the summer, but he could still emerge as a useful squad player for Arteta’s side after an injury to Thomas Partey.

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