Primeira Liga heavyweights Porto are adamant their prized asset Pepe will not leave the Estadio do Dragao this summer for less than €75 million.
According to Portuguese newspaper Record, the Portuguese powerhouse won’t budge on their valuation of the 26-year-old amid speculation linking him with Arsenal.
It’s been over a year since the Gunners first spotted Pepe’s rise to prominence at Dragao, but the player’s substantial release clause has been a sticking point.
With Porto insisting on the Brazilian’s price tag to be paid in full, Mikel Arteta’s men will have to break the bank to lure the former Gremio man to the Emirates Stadium.
Pepe’s contract expires in 2027, which puts Porto in a powerful bargaining position going into the summer transfer window.
Known for their ability to maximise profits when selling their main assets, the Dragons will probably stick to their guns, even though it could deter potential suitors.
Despite starting the season as a winger, Pepe has switched to a new role throughout the campaign, moving to a wing-back role, where he’s excelled.
Frequent positional changes have not affected the Brazilian.
He has amassed four goals and six assists in 32 league appearances under Sergio Conceicao in 2022/23, keeping his stock high despite relinquishing his favourite position.
Among the clubs keen to prise him away from Porto, Arsenal are the most attractive destination, although the Gunners’ stance on the Dragons’ asking price remains unknown.
Arteta will have a busy summer after narrowly missing out on the Premier League this term, looking to close the gap on perennial champions Manchester City.
Last summer’s signings, Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko, have almost inspired Arsenal to the title in their first season at the club, and Arteta is keen to add more quality to his ranks in the next few months.
Pepe’s versatility, pace and tactical intelligence could make him a valuable addition, but negotiations with Porto are often arduous, which could be an issue.
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