Arsenal £72m signing Nicolas Pepe warned he will NEVER play for Gunners again if he refuses to agree transfer | The Sun
NICOLAS PEPE has been told to leave Arsenal while he still can or spend the rest of the season sitting on his hands.
The 28-year-old Ivorian international has resisted all the club’s efforts to get rid of him without a lucrative pay-off.
But now he has just days to sort out a move before his last escape routes slam shut in his face.
Turkish title contenders Besiktas are still keen to sign Pepe despite being turned down by the player earlier in the summer.
And his representatives are also trying to raise a last-ditch offer from Al Shabab before the Saudi transfer window closes on Thursday.
But Pepe still has ten months remaining on his £150,000-a-week Arsenal contract which will net him around £6.5million if he stays at the Emirates.
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And he is reluctant to take a pay cut just so Arsenal can get him off their wage bill.
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has already washed his hands of the player who cost what was then a club record £72million when he was signed from Lille by Unai Emery in 2019.
He has been ordered to train alone since returning from an unsuccessful loan spell at Nice and doesn’t even have a squad number after his number 19 shirt was handed to Leandro Trossard at the beginning of the year.
It has been made clear to him that he has no future at the club and will not play another game for them if he declines to leave.
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His lack of activity has already cost him his place in the Ivory Coast squad for their forthcoming games against Lesotho and Mali.
And with his home country hosting the African Cup of Nations in January, Pepe knows his international career is in jeopardy unless he finds another club.
But Arsenal are still asking for a nominal transfer fee in the region of £4million and Besiktas want to sign him for nothing.
The Turkish transfer window closes on September 15 and it could be a case of which club blinks first.
That could all change if Al Shabab follow up their interest with a firm bid but Arsenal have not yet received any offers.
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