Arsenal is reportedly contemplating offloading one of their star players to a Saudi Arabian club in an effort to strengthen their transfer budget for the upcoming season.
As the Gunners embark on ambitious plans for the summer transfer window, rumors circulate that a potential deal for Declan Rice is close to being finalized. Arsenal has faced difficulties in selling players since the departure of Arsene Wenger, but this summer presents an opportunity for a change in that trend, with the likes of Kieran Tierney, Albert Sambi Lokonga, and Folarin Balogun attracting interest from European clubs. Follow your favourite Premier League team with attractive betting odds from Nextbet.
Of particular interest is the possibility that two Arsenal stars have expressed their desire to seek new opportunities, with one potentially finding a new home in the Saudi Pro League, following in the footsteps of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, and Steven Gerrard.
According to journalist Chris Wheatley, Cedric Soares and Nicolas Pepe are actively seeking exits from the Emirates Stadium following their loan spells, and it is the latter who has become a target for a club in the Saudi Pro League.
Pepe, who became Arsenal’s record signing in 2019 for a fee of £72 million, was once seen as a significant acquisition during Unai Emery’s tenure. However, the Ivorian winger has struggled to replicate the impressive form he displayed at Lille during his three seasons in North London. As a result, he was loaned out to Nice for the 2022/23 season.
While it is unlikely that Arsenal will recoup the full £72 million spent on Pepe, a move to the Saudi Pro League could potentially offer him a substantial wage package akin to what he has been earning at Arsenal.
Manager Mikel Arteta has already made adjustments to the squad, replacing Pepe with Bukayo Saka on the right wing, and Reiss Nelson is expected to sign a new contract as Saka’s backup, as reported by Art De Roche of The Athletic.
Given Arsenal’s pursuit of high-priced new signings in this transfer window, parting ways with Pepe would not only provide additional funds but also free up a significant portion of the wage budget. As of now, Transfermarkt values Pepe at €22 million. Get all the latest updates from the Premier League only on Nextbet Sports.