Arsenal close in on eighth summer departure as record signing to leave on loan

Another one out of north London this summer

Arsenal are closing in on their 8th departure of the summer as club-record signing Nicolas Pepe is set to head back across the English Channel on loan for the upcoming season.

The Gunners have been cleaning house this summer, with Pablo Mari, Nuno Tavares and Folarin Balogun and Runar Alex Runarsson all departing on loan, while Lucas Torreira and Bernd Leno have been sold. Alexandre Lacazette has also left the club after his contract expired at the beginning of July.

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Now, it seems as though Nicolas Pepe is the next man to depart, with the Ivorian set to bring his dreadful stint in north London to a close, at least temporarily. The winger is set to join French side OGC Nice on loan, with no option to buy despite previous suggestions. The French side having already signed former Gunner Aaron Ramsey this summer.

“There is still work to do but it is hoped that Pepe’s temporary transfer will be completed in the coming days”, report the Athletic.

It is understood that Pepe has taken a hit on his £140k per week salary in order to make the move happen, and there is hope he will be available for Nice’s clash with Marseille on Sunday.

Pepe has never lived up to expectations that surrounded him at the Emirates Stadium after joining the club for £72m in 2019, with then-manager Unai Emery openly admitting that the winger was not his choice and that he would rather have signed Wilfried Zaha.

He managed just 681 Premier League minutes last season, and has not featured in the opening three games of the season for the Gunners. In total, the Ivorian managed 27 goals in 112 appearances across all competitions during his time in north London.

Any more to come in?

Pedro Neto is the latest name to be linked with Arsenal, but a deal seems tricky, with a hefty price tag likely to be set on the Wolverhampton Wanderers man and his club under no pressure to sell a player under contract until 2027.

The reliable David Ornstein reports that ‘Mikel Arteta’s side remain in the market and open to opportunities ahead of the September 1 deadline, but at this stage they are not close to any incoming business’, and there is a feeling that any deal for either he or other long-term target Youri Tielemans will be towards the very end of the transfer window.

The departure of Pepe, however, frees up a squad slot should another arrival be possible.

Read more:

Summer transfer window 2022: Every Premier League deal completed so far

FPL 2022/23: Best captain picks gameweek 4

Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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