In a summer when Arsenal have bought big, the focus has turned to departures, and one of the players at the top of that list is Nicolas Pepe.
The club’s former record signing has not returned to London since a somewhat underwhelming loan spell at Nice finished in May, and it’s clear he is not in Mikel Arteta’s plans.
However, there hasn’t much been much in the way of rumoured interest in the 28 year old, in part due to how far his stock has fallen, as well as the fact he’s on a very substantial salary at Arsenal.
Last summer, Sporting Director Edu was very open about the difficulties of moving on players like that, saying, “If the player is above 26, 27 and not performing, big salary, no chance.
Now, according to Transfermarkt, Pepe could be on his way to Turkey to join Besiktas. An article on the Turkish version of their website says:
According to the information obtained by Transfermarkt, it was learned that Besiktas is about to add Nicolas Pepe, who plays for Arsenal, to its staff and that the player is in the process of terminating his contract with the club.
Long-time transfer observers will be aware that very often rumours that involve Turkish clubs do not come to fruition, but usually the source is a bit more spurious than this one.
The termination of his Arsenal contract (a pay off, in other words), would make some sense, although it remains to be seen if there is any fee coming our way. Given Besiktas bid just £2m for Rob Holding earlier this summer, chances are it’s not much if it exists at all.
Arsenal do need to move players on, currently there are five goalkeepers and thirty outfield players listed in the first team squad on the official website. Manager Mikel Arteta called for greater depth, but made it clear the numbers on hand right now are ‘unsustainable’.
We’re still a little skeptical of this one, but we’ll give it a hopeful four on the Poo-O-Meter.