The Gunners are anxious to prevent a replay of the Mesut Ozil case, but Nicolas Pepe is set to be eased out of Arsenal – reports Dailystar.
Their £ 72 million record signing bagged a dazzling opener in the Thursday side’s 3-0 victory over the Molde, but the die was already cast.
He will not play in today’s Premier League match against Wolves – or in the accompanying clashes with Tottenham and Burnley – after last weekend’s red card.
In the 0-0 draw at Elland Lane, Ivory Coast International, 25, was sent-off for headbutting Leeds left-back Ezgjan Alioski.
Mikel Arteta called his actions “unacceptable” but on Thursday he gave the winger an opportunity to redeem himself and publicly help his man.
The Gunners are though, willing to unload £ 140k-a-week Pepe behind the scenes if a fitting purchaser can be identified.
The former Lille man has worked hard in preparation, but for the Premier League, there are increasing fears that he is not cut out.
Pepe has failed to hit top gear since signing with the North Londoners in 2019.
Last season, he achieved a mere four Premier League goals and has netted this time round just once in the top flight.
The fee charged 18 months ago to Pepe remains a point of contention in the halls of influence of the Emirates.
Arsenal bigwigs are now persuaded that they invested way too much cash for a player who had enjoyed a solid Ligue 1 season – £ 22m up front and £ 50m for the next five years – for a player who had enjoyed a good season in Ligue 1.
This summer, the deal was put under the microscope internally again when the club overhauled its recruitment staff and looked to cut costs.
Arsenal has no intention of letting Pepe leave on the cheap but with an agreement to buy, they will accept an acceptable cash-plus player swap or loan.
Arteta would be asked to closely handle the situation with the club willing to preserve the value of their properties.
The Gunners are keen to prevent past errors being repeated.
Ozil, which in 2013 cost Real Madrid £ 42.5m, has been frozen and receives £ 350,000 a week.
There are no suitors and the German midfielder is relieved to see his contract expire next year.