Transfer News: Arsenal’s One-Time Record Signing Offered Escape Route By Turkish Giants

Image of Arsenal's Emirates Stadium.

Image of Arsenal's Emirates Stadium. Credit: amirraizat/

Nicolas Pepe’s Arsenal nightmare could soon be over as Turkish outfit Besiktas move closer to acquiring their former record signing. 

The Gunners made a significant investment when they brought the Ivory Coast international winger from Lille for €80m (£72m) – an unprecedented transfer fee at that time.

However, this was surpassed when they brought Declan Rice on board from West Ham with a hefty price tag of £105 million. Mikel Arteta is demonstrating his commitment to building a formidable squad capable of competing against top teams across Europe.

After arriving with great fanfare and a massive price tag attached to his name, Pepe has subsequently struggled since arriving in London.

Nice were not interested in making a loan spell permanent

The club even loaned him out to Nice last season in an attempt to salvage something from their investment – but the Ligue 1 club ultimately declined the option of making that move permanent. It now seems like only a matter of time before Pepe is no longer part of the Premier Leagues club’s plans altogether.

According to a tweet from the respected football transfer expert Fabrizio Romano: ‘Turkish side Besiktas now have genuine interest in Nicolas Pépé — he’s out of the project at Arsenal and prepared to leave  #Besiktas Negotiations will take place in order to discuss structure of potential deal’.

Pepe’s current contract at the Emirates Stadium is nearing its end, with only one year left. An estimate from priced the winger at €10.8m (£9.3m) using their in-house Expected Transfer Value (xTV) model.

Arsenal will likely aim for a higher fee than what they initially paid four years ago when acquiring Pepe from Lille. However, it is reasonable to say that their return on investment won’t come close to matching the original outlay made at that time.

Pepe was prolific during his two seasons with Lille, averaging almost one goal per game before joining Arsenal. Since his arrival in London, he has only managed 27 goals in over 100 appearances across all competitions. This lack of productivity suggests that any attempts to recoup their costs may fall short of expectations.

As a player, there have been moments of triumph such as providing the assist for Pierre Emerick Aubameyang’s winning goal in the 2020 FA Cup final against Chelsea.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at