Journalist Ben Jacobs has confirmed that Sevilla are the most likely suitors for Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe at present and has predicted his price tag.
Premier League side Leeds United as well as Lyon and Marseille are also thought to be potential suitors.
The same source stated that the Andalucian outfit would be willing to offer €18m (£15) for the winger while the north London club would be hoping for a bid in excess of €25m (£21.3m).
It is also thought that Pepe’s wages, which according to the report, are a £100k-per-week would also prove a stumbling block for Julen Lopetegui’s side.
While discussing the future of the Ivory Coast international, Jacobs played down interest from within England and claimed that there is a genuine attraction from Los Nervionenses.
Speaking on the Touchline Community YouTube channel he said:
Will Nicolas Pepe be an Arsenal player next season?
(39:50)”As I understand it there wasn’t too much in the links with other Premier League clubs like West Ham United but what I do know is that Sevilla are really interested in the player and there is definitely substance to that.
“I think Sevilla would be prepared to pay something, all-in, in the region of about £20-25m. Arsenal may see that as a little bit low but fundamentally no matter what Arsenal are going to lose roughly half of the money that they spent because I don’t see anybody paying more than let’s say than £35m plus add-ons and even that might be seen by buying clubs and fans as extremely high.
“I think the starting point for Pepe will be more around the £20-25m mark and then we will see whether Arsenal entertain that or try and recoup some of the transfer fee and Sevilla would also need Pepe to take some sort of salary reduction which is the other challenge of getting rid of the 27-year-old.”
TIF Thoughts on Pepe and Arsenal…
The Ivorian has struggled to live up to his transfer fee in north London but many would.
His criticism hasn’t always been warranted although it does seem that his game time at the Emirates Stadium will be severely limited given the burgeoning talent that is Bukayo Saka.
Pepe has scored 16 goals and provided nine assists in the Premier League in 80 appearances with an average of 53.8 minutes per outing.
Should the Gunners be unable to attain their desired asking price, Pepe could perhaps stick around and at least try and repay the debt supporters will feel he owes the club.
While in a less competitive league at Lille, the right-winger lit up France’s top tier and considering he still ranks in the top 9% of wingers for non-penalty expected goals per 90 (Fbref), higher than that of Liverpool’s Luis Diaz for example, perhaps there is still a player that can be unearthed within their club-record signing.