Arsenal 'in talks' with Nice over Nicolas Pepe loan exit amid Pedro Neto transfer links

Nicolas Pepe signed for Arsenal in a club record £72million deal three years ago but has struggled throughout his time at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal star Nicolas Pepe is edging closer to an exit from the Emirates Stadium this summer as talks progress over a loan deal with OGC Nice.

Pepe completed a £72million move from Lille back in 2019 but has since struggled to replicate the fine form he showed during his time in France.

The Ivorian winger has fallen down the pecking order in Mikel Arteta’s side after the emergence of talents Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli, with Pepe making just a handful of appearances last term.

Arsenal are thought to be interested in signing a new winger this summer with Pedro Neto, Yeremy Pino and Cody Gakpo all having been linked with a move to north London.

A move for one of those players may hinge upon Pepe leaving the club this summer as Mikel Arteta eyes more incoming deals before the transfer window slams shut.

Pepe’s agent Louis Ferrer shared a photo from Ligue 1 side Nice’s Allianz Riviera Stadium last weekend, with Footmercato reporting that the 27-year-old is “interested” in a loan move to Ligue 1 side OGC Nice after his agent held a meeting over a potential switch.

Now, a report from The Times suggests the Gunners look set to clear out another unwanted player as Pepe closes on a loan move back to France.

The Gunners are expected to heavily subsidise Pepe’s £140,000-a-week wage to secure an agreement with Nice over a season-long loan deal for the Ivory Coast international.

Pepe looks set to link up with former Arsenal star Aaron Ramsey after the Welsh midfielder joined the French club following his free transfer from Juventus.

The 27-year-old leaving could now open up room in Arteta’s squad for technical director Edu to look at making a move for heavily linked Wolves star Pedro Neto.

The Portuguese winger is thought to be available to sign this summer after 90min reported that the 22-year-old has been offered to a number of top Premier League clubs.

Neto fits the correct profile for the Gunners who are in the market for a new attacker to challenge the likes of Saka, Smith Rowe and Martinelli. The Wolves starlet has plenty of Premier League experience, as well as lots of potential to grow into a world-class forward as he progresses in his career with Arsenal expected to have to fight off competition from Manchester United and Chelsea should they make an approach for the 22-year-old.

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