The north London giants signed the Ivorian from Lille three years ago for a club-record £72m fee. It was predicted that he would be a pivotal player in their push for Champions League football.
However, that has hardly been the case over the past two-and-a-half seasons. While he has made goal contributions, his performances have been largely inconsistent in the Premier League.
The 26-year-old has not started a league game since October last year, and it is now reported that the Gunners are prepared to cut their losses on him during the next transfer window.
The versatile forward will enter the final two years of his Gunners contract from July. Mikel Arteta’s side are willing to sanction his departure for a transfer package of around £25m.
Pepe is currently behind Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Emile Smith Rowe in the pecking order for the wide attacking roles. Eddie Nketiah has also been preferred ahead of him.
That may not change anytime soon under Arteta. The summer offers him the perfect opportunity to restart his career elsewhere where he can prove himself with regular starts.
The Gunners could also use the recouped funds to their benefit. The priority could lie on pursuing a genuine goalscoring striker. They failed to do during the January transfer window.
The decision did not prove costly over the next few months, but the dynamics have now changed with the club suffering back-to-back Premier League defeats after the March international break.
They are currently trailing Tottenham Hotspur by three points for the fourth spot with a game in hand. Their north London rivals have a superior goal difference at the current point in time.
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