An unnamed Saudi Pro League club have entered into talks with Arsenal for the services of Nicolas Pepe, reports RMC Sport journalist Fabrice Hawkins.
Public Investment Fund – the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia worth £615 billion – has continued to back some of their clubs as they look to sign top players from Europe this summer, and the Ivory Coast international has been identified as a target.
The unknown club are ready to offer Arsenal some cash for the 28-year-old who is in the final 12 months of his contract.
Pepe recently returned to London Colney after spending last term on loan in Ligue 1 with OGC Nice.
The Frenchman recently turned down an offer from Turkish Super Lig club Besiktas, who offered him a three-year contract.
The Turkish top-flight outfit were promised by the player’s representatives that they would get him for free, but Arsenal refused to terminate his contract as they want to recoup a small fraction of the £72 million they paid Lille to sign him in 2019.
Pepe is not in manager Mikel Arteta’s plans going forward and the Gunners will be happy to get a fee from his sale as they look to fund the transfers of some additional signings.
They have already gotten around £41m from the sales of four players (Granit Xhaka, Matt Turner, Auston Trusty and Pablo Mari) and are hoping to sell Pepe, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Folarin Balogun, Rob Holding and Nuno Tavares before the summer transfer window shuts.
Arsenal have completed the signings of four players but could look to further bolster their squad, with the injuries to Brazil striker Gabriel Jesus and Dutch defender Jurrien Timber likely to force Arteta to go into the market again.