Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Report: Nice agree Pepe loan deal

According to various reports this evening, Arsenal have reached an agreement with Nice for the season-long loan of Nicolas Pepe.

The Ivorian will head to the south of France to rekindle his love affair with Ligue 1 three years after joining the Gunners from Lille for a club-record £72 million fee.

It’s claimed that Nice will not have an option to buy the player next summer meaning this is very much a temporary fix as we look to get a portion of Pepe’s wages off the books for the next 12 months.

The winger is expected to undertake his medical in the next 48 hours and could be a Nice player in time to face Marseille on Sunday.

In addition to shifting the 27-year-old, the Gunners are also trying to sort moves for Hector Bellerin and Ainsley Maitland-Niles. Things will likely go to the wire with suitors hoping Arsenal will drop their asking price or even, in the case of the Spaniard, come to an agreement to terminate his contract.

In terms of incomings, the Gunners are in talks with Pedro Neto’s representatives but no offer to Wolves has been made. Villarreal’s Yeremy Pino is another name believed to be on Mikel Arteta’s shopping list while transfer guru Fabrizio Romano claims we also covet Bayer Leverkusen’s Moussa Diaby. 

Despite The Times claiming Uefa are keeping tabs of Arsenal’s spending, it sounds as though we’re not in any danger of breaching existing FFP rules.

Related articles


Notify of

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Good luck to him. I hope he plays well and finds a good new home. Unfortunately it didn’t work out with us.


Indeed. People so easily forget how good he could be. There must have been something behind the scenes that we never knew, because IMO he was criminally underrated and underused. He has a wand of a left foot, height and every skill in the book. It’s just his combination play and positioning that left a bit to be desired. But we saw progress, and I can think of many positive contributions that where never rewarded, while serial underperformers got chance after chance after chance. I would not be surprised at all if he goes and gets 15G and 15A this… Read more »


I absolutely agree with you. All the best to him.


You are very right. Serial underperformers like Xhaka (yes I said it), cedric, mustafi when he was here were rewarded with game time


Maybe it was his snoring?

Only one Dennis Bergkamp

During team meetings perhaps?

King of the Zanga

Crazy thing is somebody said it here when Saka just came into the team, about how he’d have mixed feelings if Saka made Pepe redundant


Hope it works out Nicely for him and us.

Jesus of Sao Paulo

It’d be a very Nice move for Mik


So so nice.


This could go both ways for AMN, as some English clubs might well be inclined to do a panic buy late in the window – I’m thinking Everton and West Ham, given their respective seasons so far.

Kanu Red Socks

Hope he rekindle his career there wishing him all the best


Definitely! I think a French-speaking environment is a good start, as the departures of Auba and Laca have left him quite alone up top.

Pat Fried Rice with Egg

To think we were all excited at the PAL / LAP front three link up.. what could’ve been..


Good d news. Best of luck to him.


I’m relieved it’s done. We’ll think twice next time before paying that sort of money to French teams.


Paying that sort of money full stop I think!


Downvote me all you want, the guy didn’t do enough. This isn’t french league, broke down so many attacks, body language was poor, he was predictable, always looked sleepy or like he was on holiday. Even Emery didn’t want him. Idk what sort of money laundering stunt it was by Raul but I’m glad he’s done here.


100% right. When the transfer fee is considered, has to be one of our worst ever signings.


Without doubt the worst transfer in Arsenal history, and there is a legit case for worst in EPL history (which considering the money EPL teams toss about would qualify for competition as one of worst in the world). Best we move on from this one…


We have Sylvestre and the Brazilian Willian just above him as the worst


Willian was bloody awful and close, but 2nd place IMO. 72 million reasons why Pepe was worse (I’m sure there was a whole lot extra signing on and agent fees in both deals). Sylvestre isn’t even close to those two.


You all have short memories. Igor Stepanovs still tops my list. I don’t think I’ll ever quite get over that 8-2 at the theatre of prawns. Therapy has not helped.

Jesus of Sao Paulo

Then you clearly haven’t heard of Sebastian Squilachi😁


He didn’t cost 72 million quid.


Yeah he’s second. Maybe it’s cos I value defence slightly more highly than attack. Clean sheets rule. Give me a 2v0 over a 4v2 any day.

English teacher

Think you’re confusing that loss with the 6-1 at Old Trafford a few years before.

Mayor of the Woolwich

You forgot Squilacci.

Jo John


Man Manny

Hyperbolic post. Is it worse than Pogba to United at £86m?
How about Lukaku to Chelsea for £97m?
In Europe, Coutinho and Griezeman to Barcelona beat that hands down.


Are you seriously comparing us with man utd and chelsea? Casemiro 30yo £60m, Antony Gordon £60m, Cucurella £62m, Lisandro Martinez £62m

Are they setting some sort of benchmark for you to compare our business? Does it make you feel better?


Never said it was the worst, but it definitely qualifies for the conversation. Griezmann and Cuntinho and Dembele are the top of the pops (or bottom – no wonder Barca are so fucked), but don’t kid youself man, Pepe has been pitiful.

It Is What It Is

Ndombele at 68? Capping


All of those players got in the first 11 from time to time. You can blame Willian in part and the absurd amount of opportunities he got before we benched him, but how many games did pepe start? Or even play in? Would be curious to see a ratio of games started /played per transfer dollar. Also worth noting that as I recall, Pepe deal was structured so that we pay 15/year for all 5 years, so I think we still owe 30 million at this point


Plus, iheanacho says he snores


My top 5 worst EPL transfers:
1. Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea) £97m
2. Hairy McGuire (Manure) £78.30m
3. Pepe (Arsenal) £72
4. Di Maria (Manure) £60
=5. Tanguy Ndombele (Sp*d C*nts) £54m
=5. Pogba (Manure) £89m


Chelsea shevachenko was a pretty severe bust too.


Kepa to Chelsea for 72m has to be on there as well

A Different George

Pretty clearly that is the very worst in context. As much money as Pepe (for a keeper!), played fewer minutes, contributed far less, an extraordinary public defiance of his manager in a cup final (!!!). And that comical cup final sequel.

Martin R

He was potentially a great signing and I can think of hundreds of worse signings. Nowhere near the worst at Arsenal or even close. I still maintain that it is a mistake to let him go. Far better than Neto


Agree but looked like defensively switched off and tactically naive.
I hope his crusifiction will work as an example to avoid for our youth prospects!


I don’t know where you magic pixies came from, but I sure do like your pixie drink!

Brady’s bunch

It’s not me it’s you kind of scenario


No worse transfer than mustafi from valencia @£35m which would be 50m today

John C

Nah, Lucas Peres was much worse value at £18m not only factoring in inflation but he’s even more expensive on a per game basis.

Peres cost £857,000 per appearance
Pepe – £643,000 per app
Willian – about £500,000 per app based purely on wages which i haven’t added for the other 2

At least both Pepe and Willian had good pedigree, Lucas Peres was at best a journeyman.


I take it you’re related to Willian then.


It’s kinda sad to read this kind of bile about Ligue 1 from fans of any Premier League club, least of all Arsenal. Our greatest coach and several of our greatest legends learnt their trade in France.

From Cantona to Kante, so many players from Ligue 1 have come to the Premier League and been pivotal in winning titles. The Pepe experiment failed, (I hold my hand up as someone who swore blind on here that Nico was too good to fail!) but I hope our club continues to look for diamonds in the French league.


Well it’s not really what I’m saying is it, I never said there were no diamonds in ligue 1, just that we shouldn’t be paying extortionate fees to French clubs. All these foreign clubs resent English clubs for the TV revenues they generate and try to scam us for poaching their players. But when it goes the other way they act broke.


‘This isn’t the french league’ you said lol

As if it isn’t players from all those foreign clubs who’ve massively raised the levels of the Premier League. How many British players have gone to foreign clubs and been integral to them winning titles?

And other leagues don’t act broke, they literally don’t have TV deals that are as valuable as the Premier League’s. Why do you think Nottingham Forest are spending more in the transfer window than clubs like Roma, PSV, or Atletico Madrid?


Are you telling me, with a straight face, the level of French league is comparable to EPL? Serious question.


I am saying that the Premier League would not be at the level it is now without foreign players, many of who came from France.


But it is at level it is now…

John C

Or maybe it’s the opposite, without the riches of the Premier League there would be less opportunity for foreign players and their standard would be lower.


“bile”? There is nothing in his statement even close to “bile”. I certainly fucking hope we have serious reservations about dumping 72M quid on any player from Ligue 1 (or any other fucking league for that matter). The deal was a colossal fuck up by anyone’s standards.

Invoking Arsene Wenger and our great French players with respect to this situation is total a strawman argument. Spending 72M quid is NOT looking for diamonds in the rough (Ligue 1). It’s buying cubic zirconia’s from Harrads.


Whatever, some of you just love negativity.

Every transfer is a gamble. If Arsenal had won in Baku and returned to the Champions League, the 72m we spent on Pepe would’ve been irrelevant. Gabriel Jesus was expensive at 45m. If he wins us a major title his fee is a drop in the ocean compared to what we gain as a club.

That’s what transfers are, they are a gamble that every big club makes so stop bloody hyperventilating about it


Rest man it’s ok to say he flopped


who flopped worse? Pepe in the EPL or Alioski when Pepe gave him a forhead rub?


lol…”If Arsenal had won in Baku
If we had of a lot won more games and lost a lot less we’d have won the league last season too.

I can assure you the only hyperventilating here is you choking on you’re fabricated “bile”… talk about obsession with negativity… But hey, I know you live for those precious upvotes – they keep you warm at night.

A Different George

What do you think about Xhaka, Dave?

Brady’s bunch

We completely had our pants pulled down with this transfer and probably why Raul is sailing around the med with his feet up.

Adney Toams

He always looked like a deer caught in the headlights, to me!


Another who hasn’t worked out. £72million will always see him labelled a flop, but I suspect the actual amount will have worked out to significantly less given the lack of success/appearances/goals/whatever was on the deal

Had some good moments but for whatever reason never actually had a solid run

Brady’s bunch

We’re probably still making payments on this deal.

It Is What It Is

People don’t want to see that.
Take the transfer fee away, and given his opportunities, the return isn’t alarming at all. Decent even

Est Ldn

My man, goals against Dundalk and Molde do not compare to United, Chelsea etc.

He was a flop in the Premier League. No worries though, he’s has moved on and good luck to him.

North Bank Gooner

A lot of pressure being the most expensive signing for this great club. Hope it all works out for u Nico, and u can find a better fit somewhere


Nice for Pepe, nice for us.



Toure Motors





Wrong kind of biscuits 😉

Woolwich Tiern time

No chance we’ll be getting Neto this summer. He has a contract until 2027 and after the amount they have got from Forest recently, Wolves have no reason to sell for an acceptable fee.


Ornstein sez talks have been ongoing with Wolves for over a month.

Maybe a rabbit in that hat?

Group Captain Mandrake

My understanding is that it was talks with his agents, not with Wolves. It would be nice, but I think it will take a huge sum of money to get him since he is under contract until 2027.

Woolwich Tiern time

A la talks were taking place in the period before Wolves made 46m on Gibbs White and got in a top class forward option for several million less

Martin R

He’s not even close to the class of Pepe. No thank you.


Pepe fan boy right here


He was too Nice for the Premier League.


Didn’t quite work out with us – irrespective of fee paid (that’s not Pepe’s fault).

Had some excellent moments with us, however a combination of inconsistent form, lack of game time (which exacerbates the inconsistency) and not fitting the way Arteta wants us to play makes it best for both parties if he finds game time elsewhere.

I do remember being quite excited by his arrival.

All the best to Nico – be interesting to see how he links up with Ramsey.


A nicely balanced comment. Agreed on all points. Hope he has a bumper year at Nice so he has some good options next summer and we can recoup some of that fee. Would love to know how much of the 140k/week Nice are picking up. Will be interesting to see what we do for a replacement and how we do it.


If the Ornstein news about Pedro Neto is true, it’s interesting because the two players have different profiles.

Pepe was more of a goalscoring winger, while Neto has less output but doesn’t get dispossessed easily and is a better passer of the ball

Guns Up

Sums up my sentiments. Already have Nice-Marseille set to record on Sunday. Hoping Pepe can make the bench at least. Even 10 minutes of Pepe vs Tavares would be intriguing.


This would be good news, Nico will do better back in France and it frees up a space in the squad. Hopefully he is happy there, gets his confidence back, plays well and we can get a decent fee for him next summer.

Group Captain Mandrake

It would be nice if Nice decided to buy him after this year if he performs well. At least they are taking on his entire salary for the year which is nothing to sneeze at. Best of luck to him.


If Arsenal are happy to let Pepe go it must mean they are confident of signing a replacement Forward/Winger. I’m looking forward to see who this will be.


Good luck brother Nico, thanks for those crazy FA Cup performances, and for making sure our coach won the Ole-Lampard-Arteta death match.

Buffalo Head

Wishing him all the best, may be next summer Chelsea will pay huge sum for him after Auba’s goals dry up


High Hopes


Imagine journalists making stuff up about Arsenal.
The was a time


His style never fit our system. He’s a player who thrives on open space and running at defenders. He would of been good on a counter-attacking team.

Teryima Adi

Pepe will rise again. There’s a good footballer in there. Wishing you all the best in France, Bro.


I’m seeing comments like ‘biggest ever flop’ and ‘we had our pants pulled down’ but I’m thinking hindsight is in full 20/20 vision here. When we bought him he was the most exciting and productive talent in Ligue 1 behind Mbappe. He came at a premium and his first season was actually quite decent considering the awfully passive and defensive set up Emery insisted on playing with. Unfortunately for Pepe, Arteta has little tolerance for players who lose the ball as often as him and I feel he’s just been very unlucky that he has t fit into either manager’s… Read more »


He assisted fa cup semi winning goal against city and then assisted the fa cup winning goal with a great performance as well. Only to see himself getting benched by the old man Willian. U can blame Pepe all u want… But how would u expect a player to feel being benched by a poor performing Willian? Wen arteta got tired of Willian he decided to play Pepe.. who took his chance and scored 10 goals to the end of the season. This should ve been upward from here.. but not with arteta. Arsenal started the last season poorly losing… Read more »

Fireman Sam

I agree it seemed harsh on him – who knows what went on behind the scenes though? Best of luck to him in any case. Shame we never got the best out of him but as you say it’s not entirely his fault.


3 managers at Arsenal didn’t rate him. They know a lot more about the player seeing him everyday in training than we do.

To say it’s Arteta’s fault he didn’t succeed is naive at best.

Yes he had a day vs. wolves but fails to do the basics needed to earn a starting role (pressing, ball retention and situational awareness). At 27 years old, he is what he is. A good performer against inferior competition but not someone who is going to get us to Champions League football.


Your comment is just ridiculous, man… You’re replying to a comment that literally says he scored against City and Chelsea in finals leading to our FA Cup victory and then you come with him being poor against decent opposition. This dude still has better returns in the league than virtually every player on our roster but Auba in the years he was here. Arteta, for all the love I have for him, was wrong for his treatment of Pepe. He handled the player poorly. So many times when Pepe could have taken the next step, he shunted him off to… Read more »


We shall agree to disagree.

I wish him well and hopes he improves enough in France so we get a decent fee for him.


I think he would have been a great signing, for £25 million. Hope he plays well and ups his value so we can recoup at least a portion of the ridiculous price we paid (thanks Raul)

Boy Bastin

Yes, but remember by then he’ll only have a year (2023-24) left on his contract. Any increase in his value (from what, I wonder?) through good performances at Nice will be diminished because buyers will know they only have to wait six months (to the Jan 2024 window) to agree his transfer for nothing in summer 2024. We may get something, which is better than nothing as you say, but it’s likely to be (relatively speaking) “peanuts”. If he isn’t a success, a possibility, I can see another pay to leave scenario arising. Not the first but, hopefully, the last… Read more »


You win some you lose some! While we were reckless and wasteful in the deal to acquire pepe, we were lucky to have saka who came through the academy who must be worth more than 72mil in this transfer market playing in the exact same position. You can add esr to that as well. Oh and we got martinelli for peanuts! Oh if we are lucky marquihous might be a serious talent as well. Can’t win them all. All club made bad moves. Time to move on from this and hopefully the club administration learn their lesson.

Boy Bastin

You’re right. We have lost a lot more than we’ve won, particularly on the “big” players. Looking at the top ten Arsenal transfers “in” and excluding players still at the club (Pepe – currently, White, Jesus, Partey, Xhaka), we didn’t recoup a single penny for any of the others (Auba, Laca, Ozil, Sanchez, Mustafi) when they left. They cost us a combined total of around £225m in fees alone. It’s likely that Pepe will add considerably to that total, of course.


For me, he was one of the strangest signings we’ve ever made.

On paper he looked to be a very good player. So we pay our record fee for a player AND THEN NOT USE HIM!


I hope he makes it in France. He never did in England.

A spectacular waste of the club’s money.

Determination Cultured

Scouted neto on youtube. Not impressed.

Boy Bastin

There’s also a report that Pepe is prepared to take a wage cut to join Nice. If true, that’s a very sensible decision to help push through the loan move and kick-start his career.. Good luck to him.


I still think he never got a real chance under Mikel. He’s a 72M asset, was coveted by half of Europe and we are just letting him go. Especially since he seems like a nice character, doesn’t create problems. But he did need support and trust from the manager, with a good run of games, which he never got. Think Mikel needs to be accountable for this, even if he didn’t bring him, he was here before he came. I’d even say as we don’t have resources like city, Mikel should’ve tried to make it work as to not waste… Read more »

Grumbling Gooner

Nice !
(Fast show , jazz voice)

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x