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Nicolas Pepe 'wants to leave Arsenal this summer'

Nicolas Pepe 'wants to leave Arsenal this summer'
© Reuters
Arsenal attacker Nicolas Pepe reportedly decides to force a move away from the club in the summer transfer window.

Arsenal attacker Nicolas Pepe has reportedly decided to push for a move away from the club this summer.

The Ivory Coast international arrived at the Emirates Stadium for a club-record fee of £72m in 2019 after racking up 22 goals and 11 assists in 38 Ligue 1 matches for Lille the season before.

However, Pepe has failed to live up to the billing at the Emirates and has fallen down the pecking order behind Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli at the Emirates.

Pepe's contract with the North London club is due to expire in the summer of 2024, and his consistent struggles since arriving makes an extension seem incredibly unlikely.

As a result, Arsenal are expected to try to garner a fee for the 26-year-old this summer, but they will not recoup anything close to the £72m they forked out three years ago.

Nicolas Pepe in action for Ivory Coast in January 2022© Reuters

According to football.london, Pepe has also decided that he wants to end his stint at Arsenal this summer, and Arteta is also happy to part ways with the attacker.

Pepe recently announced that he had changed agents as he weighs up his summer options, with Sevilla thought to be interested in a swap deal which could see Lucas Ocampos move in the opposite direction.

Arsenal have supposedly slapped a £25m price tag onto the head of Pepe, who has amassed a total of 27 goals and 20 assists in 111 games for the Gunners in all competitions.

The former Angers youngster has only managed three goals and five assists from 22 matches this season, though, and he has started just five matches in the Premier League.

Pepe's final game for the club could therefore be Sunday's home clash with Everton, where the Gunners need to win and hope for Tottenham Hotspur to lose to Norwich City in order to qualify for the Champions League.

Sao Paulo attacker Marquinhos pictured in April 2021© Reuters

Ahead of Pepe's expected departure, Arsenal are thought to be on the verge of sealing their first summer signing in Sao Paulo winger Marquinhos, who will imminently join for a £3m fee.

Porto's Pepe and Manchester City's Raheem Sterling have also been mentioned as wide targets, with Arteta overseeing a major attacking reshuffle in the summer window.

Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah are both primed to leave upon the expiration of their contracts, and Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus is understood to be a leading target.

A lack of Champions League football could harm Arsenal's bid to sign Jesus, but the Gunners are supposedly ready for a significant summer outlay even without a top-four finish.

The Gunners also confirmed on Wednesday that teenage attacking starlet Khayon Edwards had signed his first professional contract with the club - ending speculation over his future in the process.

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Sao Paulo attacker Marquinhos pictured in April 2021
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