Nicolas Pepe transfer latest: Wages claim, Saudi proposal, Medical booked, Arsenal fee


Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe is running out of time to complete a transfer to Saudi Arabia.

The former Lille star has less than 12 months on his current contract in north London and he is not part of Mikel Arteta's plans for the 2023/24 campaign. Pepe, who spent last season on loan with Ligue 1 outfit OGC Nice, was left out of the pre-season squad for the Gunners' tour of America.

The Ivory Coast international has been linked with a move to Saudi Arabia but their transfer window is set to close on September 7. So, has rounded up everything we know on the 28-year-old's future below.

Wages claim

CBS journalist James Benge has claimed that Pepe has been asking for an unrealistic salary from interested Saudi clubs, asking for a significant pay rise from what he currently makes at the Emirates Stadium.

Speaking about Pepe on Charles Watts' YouTube channel, Benge said: "I can see a world where Arteta plays Cedric (Soares), I can list you about six players in the academy that Arteta would pick before Pepe. From what I heard, the salary he asked for in July, or his representatives asked for, was way out of line with anything he could get from a Saudi Arabian club.

"It would have been a significant pay rise from what he was on at Arsenal. They would counter that his career has gone in a direction, since joining Arsenal, that means he is maybe not the player that Arsenal paid £72 million and gave the best part of £200k-a-week to."

READ MORE: Arsenal news and transfers LIVE: Nicolas Pepe exit, Neto enquiry, Mbappe claim, Saka message

Saudi move

According to transfer insider the Secret Scout, Arsenal have received a proposal from Saudi Arabian side Al Shabab for Pepe.

Writing on X (Formerly Twitter), he said: "Excl - Understand Pepe have received a proposal from Saudi club Al Shabab. #AFC Arsenal looking for a fee of around £2m. Representatives are out in Saudi to work on and complete deal."

Latest update

Journalist Fabrizio Romano has now claimed that he isn't aware of Besiktas making a move for Pepe.

"Despite reports that a move for Nicolas Pepe to Besiktas is back on, I don’t have this information, as things stand," Romano told Caught Offside.

"We will see what happens with Besiktas as interest is there since long time but I’m not aware of a done deal. Arsenal hope to find any solution for him as he’s 100% out of Mikel Arteta’s project."

Medical booked

Nicolas Pepe is undergoing a medical with Turkish club Besiktas ahead of a move from Arsenal in the next few days, reports L'Equipe. The Gunners are claimed to be set to receive a small transfer fee for the winger, who they paid a previous record transfer of £72million for.

Instagram message

Pepe has now taken to social media to send an update to his fans.

Late into Friday evening, with no sign of a move, the 28-year-old took to Instagram to show himself working in the gym.

Nicolas Pepe working in the gym
Nicolas Pepe working in the gym

Arteta admission

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has provided an update on Nicolas Pepe's future.

"We are still looking for solutions and there is a lot of communication between his agent and the player and the club at the moment," Arteta said when asked about the Ivory Coast international.

"There is nothing to announce at the moment."

Contract decision

Arsenal are contemplating terminating Pepe's contract ahead of tonight's deadline, as per the Daily Mail.

The Gunners are struggling to find a suitor for the Ivory Coast international, who has less than 12 months remaining on his current contract at the Emirates Stadium. reported back in June that although the north Londoners were keen to garner a fee for Pepe, plans have been made for the termination of his contract if required.

Arsenal 'negotiate' exit fee

Nicolas Pepe still looks set to leave Arsenal this summer despite a Besiktas transfer falling through, with a new club in talks.

According to RMC journalist Fabrice Hawkins, an unnamed Saudi Arabian club are planning to make a move for the 28-year-old with Arsenal 'negotiating a transfer fee.'

Pepe hints at Arsenal stay

Nicolas Pepe has hinted that he could remain at Arsenal for the upcoming season in a transfer decision that could save Mikel Arteta and Edu millions.

The Ivory Coast international is still expected to depart but an Instagram post of himself at London Colney has suggested he could remain in north London to provide cover for Bukayo Saka.

Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe is back at London Colney. (Image: Nicolas Pepe/ Instagram)
Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe is back at London Colney. (Image: Nicolas Pepe/ Instagram)

The Gunners are not actively searching for an attacking option despite the clear need to lessen the demands on their star attacker.

Besiktas move collapses

Turkish outfit Bestikas were said to be keen on a deal for Pepe but a move has now collapsed, according to recent reports.

Transfer guru Loic Tanzi has reported that the player has turned down the chance to move to the Beşiktaş Stadyumu.

Arsenal contract meeting

Nicolas Pepe’s representatives will meet with Arsenal to discuss the possibility of a contract termination in the coming days, according to GFFN. understands Pepe is not in Mikel Arteta's plans for the upcoming season. The Ivorian winger spent last season on loan at OGC Nice but the French outfit opted against pursuing a permanent deal this summer.

Besiktas offer

According to Transfermarkt, Besiktas are close to signing Pepe from Arsenal. The Ivorian winger will terminate his contract with the Gunners and secure a free transfer to the Turkish side.

Contract termination

Arsenal are planning to terminate Pepe's contract this summer, should they fail to secure a transfer fee. The Ivorian was not included in the Gunners' pre-season tour of the United States and according to the Mirror, the club are keen to conclude his exit this window.

Arteta stance

Arsenal boss Arteta was asked about Pepe's situation earlier this month. After leaving the winger out of the pre-season squad, he said: “At the moment he is recovering from an injury which is why he’s not here.

“He had a spell on loan and obviously we wanted to get much more than we got from that loan spell. We have to see when we come back, understand what the plans are and make the right decision for him.”

Instagram message

Pepe missed the final part of the 2022/23 season out injured and he doesn't appear to have returned to the club's London Colney training base ahead of their pre-season.

Nicolas Pepe training in the gym
Nicolas Pepe's future with Arsenal remains uncertain

In fact, he has now taken to social media to post a video of himself working out in a gym on his own. Of course, he may still not quite be fit enough to take part in a full training session at the moment, uploading a video of him doing a recovery session with a personal trainer last week in some footage that also revealed him getting some treatment on his right knee.

Read more here.

Interview admission

Pepe confirmed that he would be returning to Arsenal this summer ahead of a decision regarding his future at the Emirates Stadium.

"I will return to Arsenal. I was loaned without an option to buy so I have to go back to Arsenal," he told YouTube channel Colinterview, via the Metro during a recent interview.

"I don't know [about my future] yet. When I get back, I’ll speak with the coach and everyone and see what everyone's ideas are and then we'll make a decision."

Arsenal seeking buyers

Arsenal are seeking buyers for Nicolas Pepe and have no plans to reintegrate the club-record signing into their first-team squad ahead of next season.

OGC Nice decision

According to The Telegraph, Nice are not expected to pursue a permanent move for Pepe, having said at the end of the season that it was the “end of the Nice adventure” for the Ivory Coast international. Pepe played a total of 28 matches for the French club, scoring eight goals.

Pepe is one of the few remaining first-team players who were signed by Arsenal before Mikel Arteta’s appointment in December 2019.

Arsenal contract stance

Pepe is no longer a part of Arteta's plans after falling down the pecking order in the squad towards the end of the 2021/22 season. Arsenal are keen to receive a fee for him, but understands plans have been made for the termination of his contract if required.

The arrival of Leandro Trossard in January will prove to be a replacement for the 28-year-old winger whilst the Gunners are looking to add another versatile forward to their squad this summer.

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