Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is looking to bolster his attacking options this summer and is reportedly considering a move for Porto’s emerging Brazilian winger Pepe.
Arsenal are reportedly interested in signing Porto star Pepe.
The Brazilian winger, 25, has impressed in Portugal this season, scoring six goals and providing five assists in all competitions to help Porto win the league title. Pepe joined the two European Cup winners ahead of the current season after helping Gremio win four consecutive Brazilian titles. He is yet to win a senior cap at international level.
If the Gunners agree a deal for Pepe, he will be their team’s second Pepe after Nicolas Pepe. Arsenal paid Lille £72m for the 26-year-old Ivory Coast international in the summer of 2019 – but he’s only found the back of the net 27 times in all competitions since.
As such, manager Mikel Arteta is believed to be on the hunt for a new winger to give his team more firepower up front. According to Portuguese outlet A Bola, the Spaniard is monitoring Pepe’s progress at Porto and considering a move for him.
The talent’s existing deal doesn’t expire until June 2026, but Arsenal can release him from that by triggering his €60m (around £51.3m) clause. The Gunners could tempt the Portuguese giants with a lower offer for Pepe if the rumors are to be believed.
Another Portuguese outlet Record, meanwhile, claim that more than one Premier League club are keen to bring Pepe to England this summer. This report suggests his release clause is actually €70m (around £59.9m), with Porto demanding €60m.
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Pepe is believed to be valued at €40m (around £34.2m) by English clubs which could derail his transfer hopes. It wouldn’t necessarily be the end of the world for potential suitors as – assuming his release clause doesn’t increase – it gives him more time to adapt to European football. A move in the summer of 2023 seems more likely.
As for Nicolas Pepe’s future, it’s unclear whether he will still be at the Emirates in September. The winger is no longer a guaranteed starter under Arteta, making just five Premier League starts this season – the most recent in October.
Pepe has 25 months left on his existing contract – worth £140,000 a week – but the Gunners are believed to be ready to sell him for just £25m this summer. Spanish side Sevilla are among those linked with the winger. Transfermarkt value him at £27million.
Pepe will be disappointed with how his career at Arsenal has gone. He was expected to improve this term after a decent 2020-21 season, scoring 16 goals and providing six assists to finish second in the club’s Player of the Year voting. Bukayo Saka won the prize.
The disgrace of the former Lille star coincided with the emergence of Gabriel Martinelli. The 20-year-old Brazilian is enjoying a breakthrough season at the Emirates, scoring five goals and producing six assists. Many believe he has a bright future ahead of him.
Emile Smith Rowe is also experiencing the first major term of his career at Arsenal. The England international, 21, has scored 11 goals and provided two assists this season.