Saturday, May 25, 2024

Report: Nice pursuing Pepe loan deal

Via GFFN, comes a report that Nice are interested in a loan deal for Nicolas Pepe.

Talks between the French side and the player’s agents have taken place, and the Ivorian international is, in classic transfer parlance, said to be ‘open’ to the move.

The 27 year old has never seemed to fit at Arsenal under Mikel Arteta, and last season played just 681 minutes in the Premier League, with his final start of the season coming on October 18th of last year.

A handful of substitute appearances is all he had to show for the rest of the campaign, and it has been widely believed a parting of the ways would happen this summer.

However, in a difficult market, an under-performing player on big wages is a tough sell for any club, let alone Arsenal who have yet to achieve the same kind of efficiency with outgoing business as they have with incoming deals of late.

A loan + option would make a lot of sense, and perhaps free up room in the squad for an arrival to play in that position and provide depth for Bukayo Saka. Pepe has yet to make an appearance this season.

One to keep an eye on.

Related articles


Notify of

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

That’s nice.

Sorry, couldn’t resist it.

I’ll get my coat….

Lord Bendnter

The world needs people like you 🧔


Well, nice for him anyway.

Mayor McCheese

Nice one.

Dr Zebra

Marseille what you will, he’s no longer on Lille wages. He’ll be LENS for whatever team he’s loaned out to and we don’t have Nantes Toulouse here. If his new manager can Rennes in a few good performances, if he can be ferocious as a Lyon in the box, then he’ll be close to the Brest of his new fans, no longer our Auxere option from the bench and none of us will look back in Angers at his signing.


Chapeau, mon ami!

Pepe must certainly be Bordeaux sitting on the bench all the time. A Lille advantage of this transfer is that as a former Ligue Un player of the season, he’s bound Lorient himself quickly in France. Let’s see if his former club Metz his wage demands.

Mayor McCheese

PS: Gee that was clever.

Chuck Felsea


Dave Cee

Well played


Take a bow son

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

Qwaliteee pun.


Crazy that he was our most expensive signing. I’d keep him as a sub if we can’t get a replacement. He may well pick up now we have a better team. But ideally we get a better alternative.


No. He’s just in the way of more talented academy players who might break into the team like Saka or ESR did. He needs to go to a team that suits his style.


Agreed, I’d rather give minutes to an academy talent and hope for a breakout performance like Gnabry had back in the day.


See: Marquinhos.

...and really bad eggs

Also we have to hope he can go tear up the Ligue 1 again and generate interest for some other club to take him off our hands. Thats much better than sitting on our bench for the rest of his contract


Doesn’t help that one of our top wing prospects left for Chelsea though … that one still annoys.


after hearing some of edu’s comments regarding players asking about wages first, mercenaries with little experience (in a position we’re stacked in, no less) are of no concern. flores is already more experienced and can play in many of the same areas

Martin R

Name me one academy player who is close to the talent of Pepe. I honestly believe that there is a great player there and would love to see him given more chances.


I agree. He seems like a player who could suddenly explode into life given the right chance. Eddie was in a similar position, but the door opened when Auba left and Laca lost his mojo. For whatever reason, i.e Saka, Pepe has never really been given his chance to shine.


He does nothing when he comes on, the ball is lost constantly, his fans then blame every other factor other than he just isn’t suited to the team dynamics. Ship has sailed.

djourou's nutmeg

i think he just isn’t in the same mindset than the team. arteta’s spoken about “seeing a different nico” and whatnot, and i think it refers more to his commitment and willingness rather than his skill. i’ve seen it in his face from the first day he played for us: he just doesn’t seem to care one bit about winning or losing.


there’s been articles i seem to recall which talked about him being very much an introvert. if that is the case, it’d be very unfair to deduce anything from his body language.

the main problem is, i think, that he is very much a raw power type of player that doesn’t necessarily suit either the team or the league he plays in.


He will never fit in too languid, too slow in thinking and not disciplined he needs to go. #nopassengers

Heavenly Chapecoense

The team is performing very well these days and Arteta is a semi-god but he was unable to get the best out of a very talented but unassuming and shy player in two years. Edu and Kroenke saved him on this one.


Just went to see Nice draw against Strasbourg in Ligue 1 at the Allianz Riviera. Fun game and all, but both teams seemed incredibly reliant on solo performance on the wing rather than team cohesion. Dutch winger Calvin Stengs was bloody bossing it on the right wing! Can totally see Pepe doing that (I’m guessing he did at Lille).

It was also great seeing Aaron Ramsey again (albeit just for around 30 minutes). Some great flicks and moments… and one late freekick into row Z.



I hope he gets a move, has a new lease of life, and absolutely excels in Ligue 1 like he did at Lille. I’m sure there are clubs around who would pay proper money (no, not £72m but maybe half that) for a 20-goal a season attacking talent in his prime. He can still get back on track and have a good career. He’s just not going to do it at Arsenal.

El Willy

Yes yes I am sure that he will aim to prosper at the new club and get into his best form ahead of the World Cup ( I am not too sure but I am assuming Ivory Coast did qualify since they are/were one of the strongest team from the African continent). The World Cup is another stage where he would get to showcase his ability…As things are now, I don’t think he will get regular/ many minutes at Arsenal..IMHO right now Pepe leaving on loan to a club in France would be the best case scenario not only for… Read more »


Nico seems to be one of those players that just doesn’t shine in England. He’s very shy and I can remember him being absolutely smashed up when he first joined us which can’t have done his confidence any good, the refs didn’t look out for him at all and in one of those games he could easily have ended with a broken leg. If this opportunity to go back to France is genuine it should be a no brainer, good for the player and the club. Even if it’s just a loan it’ll give him a season playing and getting… Read more »

Heavenly Chapecoense

He was never a player for a coach like Arteta or even Guardiola. He needed a manager like Klopp who can often wrap his arm around his shoulder and encourage him. Arteta like Guardiola stop interacting with you if you’re not playing the way they want you to. They just plan to buy other players. Not like Klopp or Wenger.


So Nice


So, so Nice.


So, so, so Nice.


Not his fault we paid £72M. I don’t think he was ever given a fair chance to prove himself. Difficult position to compete against Saka but that’s football. Maybe if we had Europe to play in last year he would have been afforded more opportunity. Good luck to him at Nice


He’s been given several chances, but horses for courses and he very clearly doesn’t suit our system.

Hopefully a loan allows him to get his career back on track.

Heavenly Chapecoense

He had a great end of season in 2021 and should have been more encouraged after that. Martinelli and Saka deserve to start games but Pepe needed much more minutes than he got.


And just imagine that instead of him we would have Zaha…


They are both one v one merchants who need lots of touches, you would have the same issues.

A Different George

Yeah, I’m not sure he isn’t as good a player as Zaha and less moaning.

taariq tayob

This is ridiculous lol. Zaha would clearly have been the better buy. We don’t need to try and justify it because we made a shit buy with Pepe. There is a reason there is only 1 team after him. Zaha would find many suitors for a reasonable fee right now if CP wanted to sell.


If we had Zaha– we may not have let go of Emery when we did.

Excuse me as I set my hair on fire.

Martin R

You mean the overrated and inconsistent diving cheat.


Don’t forget the whining.

The dude is more salty than the Dead Sea.


I think, had that happened, by now his very own brand of whining and whinging would have had an open door, bags packed and the Taxi paid for him by Arteta.

Any club will do dot com.


Good God no. We would be better off with neither.


I’m surprised Newcastle aren’t more serious about him. He’d absolutely excel in their counter attacking 4-3-3 system, him from the right with Maximan from the left. The acquisition should free up Maximan as well, who is usually double marked in possession. He’d be a nice step up signing for them too. An underused good player from a higher team. Kinda ticks all the boxes, but I don’t know what they are up to over there. I hope Pepe gets his chance somewhere else, one, it seems, he never quite got under Arteta (I trust the manager) but I think he’s… Read more »

Teryima Adi

That’s a lovely treatise on Pepe.

Emi Rates

So if we were to do a Willian (not saying Pepe is as shit, he isn’t) and mutually tore up the contract with a wad of cash as sweetener and a thank you, goodbye and good luck, would he be the last of Dodgy Don Raul’s dodgy deals or are there more?


Saliba is still in our books last time I checked.


Wouldn’t call Saliba a dodgy deal. Yes he was signed by Dodgy Don Raul, but that wasn’t a dodgy deal. If anything, looking more and more like a steal, especially if we can get him on a new long term contract.


27m for an 18yo is as dodgy as they come!

Emi Rates

Yeah, Saliba is looking like an exception. It seems like we actually got what we paid for although it took three seasons it actually worked out in the end.

Who else is there that’s survived in spite of being tainted by the grubby hands of the Dodgy Don? I’m thinking Cedric. Not that he’s pulled up trees but he played a lot last season and did OK all things considered. Not sure what we paid for him or what wages he’s on though.

Emi Rates

My research says we paid 4 million pounds for him and he’s on 75k a week. He has a four year contract and must have at least done two of those years already.

Could we move him on, should we move him on or is he worth keeping until he leaves on a free transfer?


He’s keeping the space for Norton-Cuffy.


I’m surprised Newcastle aren’t more serious about him. He’d absolutely excel in their counter attacking 4-3-3 system, him from the right with Maximan from the left. The acquisition should free up Maximan as well, who is usually double marked in possession. He’d be a nice step up signing for them too. An underused good player from a higher team. Kinda ticks all the boxes, but I don’t know what they are up to over there. I hope Pepe gets his chance somewhere else, one, it seems, he never quite got under Arteta (I trust the manager) but I think he’s… Read more »

Crash Fistfight

You can say that again…

djourou's nutmeg

lacazette, aubameyang, pepe, torreira, matteo… all in 6 months. we’re the club with the biggest net spend in the premier league in the last 10 years but keep underselling (when we get to sell!) and asking for more players. we better qualify for champions league or dark days are coming with the way we’re handling our finances


confusing comment my friend, the club is currently trying to rectify past errors. the reason the players you mention were sold for less than their perceived value, or let go on a free, is because they were on huge wages and the player, not the club, was in a position of power in the contract rundown face-off.

djourou's nutmeg

i agree with you, but you can’t be the club that spends the most and afford to let your players leave for peanuts or nothing time and time again. it’s not sustainable and whilst it’s not arteta nor edu’s fault, they got to deal with it anyway.


Hmm, not sure your logic is sound. We overpaid and his wages are mad. This isn’t a problem with selling, it’s a problem for selling.

Bottom line is, would you sign Pepe to a new contract at £140k pw? No. So why do we expect other clubs to pay a transfer fee AND give him that contract?

Hopefully one of the last bad deals to clear out and move on from.

djourou's nutmeg

im not sure how your comment is opposed to mine, as i completely agree with you. selling pepe must be nearly impossible. yet you can’t spend 150M every season and keep having these situations time and time again. i’m sure you can see the logic behind it. as you said, hopefully it’s the last bad deal we’ve made


Sell him don’t loan him out.
We didn’t pay £70 million plus to help Nice or anyone else out.
Cut our loses and at least get something for him..


I’m sure if someone wanted to buy him he’d be gone a while ago

Naked Cygan

He won’t improve from going back to France. I think we should play him in all the Europa group games and early cup games to get him back on form. I think Pepe has great potential but lacks confidence. We need to help him to grow not get rid of him. It was not his fault that some dumb FK at our club decided to pay 70+ million for him. Give him some games and boost his confidence.

Jeremy DG

I just can’t believe how someone hasn’t come in to resurrect his career. He’s rapid, skillful and knows where the goal is. It hasn’t worked out at Arsenal but he is also still quite young. Arsenal would probably be quite flexible on a deal structure too. It’s mad. He’d be a great buy for a team like Newcastle or Nottingham Forest. Just goes to show how clueless clubs are at transfers. It’s all about flavour of the month.

Dave Cee

Yep, Sevilla tried with Martial, why not give Nico a go


That would be fantastic (though I’m guessing no loan fee and we still cover part of his wages…). He’s always seemed like a decent man but sadly he is more of a Obertan than a Salah.
This is my list of the top5 worst transfers of recent years:

  1. Coutinho to Barca
  2. Hazard to Real
  3. Kepa to Chelsea
  4. Pepe to Arsenal
  5. Harry Maguire to Utd
Giuseppe Hovno

Ronaldo to United? Martinez to United?


maguire was a great signing for united, bringing everyone joy week on week


Willian to Arsenal needs to be top of that list.

Just did a mental list of my own – and Willian is romping home.


don’t forget Pogba to united, lol

A Different George

All banter aside, you’d really have to go with Kepa. Incredible amount to pay for a keeper who plays years for you. Not believable for your group stage keeper.


Yeah it’s almost as if Livepool did it with Alisson and VVD, so Chelsea and Utd just thought signing average GK/CD for crazy money would manifest brilliance in them.


Lukakuuuuu! And most of Chelsea’s transfers recently, to be fair.

Ronaldo to utd has been an absolute gift to the world though.

Giuseppe Hovno

Big big fan of Pepe. Gutted he hasn’t seemed to fit at Arsenal and absolutely wish him the best. We’ll always have Wolves


He’s caught in the cats cradle (if you’ve ever read Vonnegut). For those that haven’t: nice, nice, very nice


So many people in the same device


It’s a a Nice deal.
Hope it can go through


I can’t see the point if we are to pay the majority of the wages. If it was a more prominent club, it might be considered a shop window, but this doesn’t benefit Arsenal much.

Boy Bastin

Yes, but we’d be paying all of his wages (reported at £140,000 a week) if he stayed and “more prominent clubs” just aren’t interested apparently – I wonder why? We’ve already had to write off most of the £70+million transfer fee anyway as we’ll be doing well to recoup even 20% or so of that should we actually get a fee for him at some time. Arsenal lose every which way, I fear. All in all, and setting aside who is to blame as it doesn’t much matter now, surely the biggest transfer disaster in the club’s history.


Sadly you’re right.

Dave Cee

So 1 year left on his deal when he gets back, not great. Let’s hope he tears it up and attracts some interest

Boy Bastin

You’re right it could well come to that but if so I suspect he/his agent will offer to cancel his contract only in exchange for a % of wages due. As we know, Arsenal have paid a few players to leave in recent years as the only way to get them off the books because mediocre performance and/or high wages have put other clubs off. So cancellation is certainly an option, but it’s rarely cost-free.


Can’t see another club offering him £140k pw as well as a transfer fee, so can only see his contract being run down unfortunately. The only realistic way we get a fee is if he takes a pay cut, which would be unlikely. Our bad.


Seems not Laca and Pepe looked very over powering and explosive when played in France and then just kind of fade when wete / are with us….. just tbrwsk said earlier, maybe they just not a good fit for us or for the PL….


he definitely thrive in the right League. France makes sense.

Just a shame we couldn’t arrange a part exchange.

Determination Cultured

All these giving away for free and cheap loans with option instead of firm buys are costing the club. We should have just put all the unwanted players to the under 18s or under 21s, and get their agents to work on getting them out of the club for a decent fee, or we bite the bullet and pay their salaries while they waste their careers in the reserves.


Have to sign a winger now, surely. No-one can convince me an injury prone Reiss Nelson and Marquinhos are adequate back-ups to Martinelli and Saka…

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x