David Ornstein has dropped an Arsenal transfer update as Mikel Arteta finalises his plans for the final two weeks of the transfer window.
The update from The Athletic journalist concerns Nicolas Pepe and his potential move to Ligue 1 side Nice.
It’s reported that the French club are in talks with the Gunners over a loan move for the Ivorian, and according to Ornstein, the Premier League club’s primary focus is signing a wide player, although this rests on Pepe’s prospective departure.
Taking to Twitter, he commented in full: “Nicolas Pepe not in Arsenal squad for Bournemouth trip as talks continue over future. AFC speaking to OGC Nice about season-long loan. 27yo Ivory Coast winger believed to be keen on leaving + discussing personal terms w/ OGC Nice.”
Arteta spoke about the 27-year-old’s situation in recent days, saying: “Until the end of the window it’s possible that anything can happen with any player.”
It appears that Arsenal won’t be able to bring in another wide option unless Pepe’s prospective loan move goes ahead.
With the Gunners keen on wingers such as Yeremy Pino and Moussa Diaby in order to boost their attacking options, Arteta will need to act and ensure a quick departure for the Ivory Coast international as it could well be key to the rest of their summer ambitions and who they could bring to the club.
It’s fair to say that it hasn’t quite worked out in north London for the 27-year-old winger following his club-record £72m move from Lille in 2019.
He hasn’t played a competitive match this season, with Arteta not calling on him in any of Arsenal’s league games this month. It appears to have done the Gunners no harm at all, with two successive Premier League wins to open their campaign.
Pepe has scored 27 goals and registered 21 assists for Arsenal during his three years in N5, a modest return when you consider the financial outlay that the club spent on bringing him to England.
It appears that Arteta is looking at younger talents around whom to build his team for the next few years. With reported targets Pino (19) and Diaby (23) both significantly impressing in major European leagues last season, scoring 19 goals between them, and either one could be a key addition to the Arsenal squad.
With the transfer window slamming shut in less than two weeks’ time, the Spaniard will surely be working hard to push through a loan or even a permanent exit for the £140k-per-week Pepe to return to Ligue 1. Arteta will need to act fast, though, as the September 1 transfer deadline looms large.