Arsenal do not want to let Nicolas Pepe leave on a free and are ‘demanding’ a small transfer fee from Turkish club Tranzonspor, according to a journalist.
Pepe is surplus to requirements at the Emirates and Mikel Arteta is eager to get rid before the Turkish transfer window closes on September 15.
There has been interest from Saudi Arabia but the Ivorian winger is believed to be reluctant to play in the middle east and is close to agreeing a move to the Super Lig.
Trabzonspor finished sixth in the league last season so are not competing in Europe this term, but that does not appear to have put Pepe off.
He has also been linked with Besiktas but the player reportedly turned down the opportunity to move to the Istanbul club.
Unsurprisingly, Arsenal are open to letting Pepe depart as soon as possible and RMC Sport journalist Fabrice Hawkins has said they want a minor fee for a deal to be finalised.
Hawkins says the Premier League club are ‘demanding’ between €4-5million for their former record signing, who cost £72million from Lille in 2019.
Pepe has not given the green light at this stage as the French journalist adds that his ‘final answer’ is expected ‘soon’.
It is added that talks with Trabzonspor are ‘advanced’, while Turkish reporter Yunus Emre Sel has said Arsenal have agreed to terminate the 28-year-old’s contract.
Arsenal have a reputation for terminating the contracts of unwanted players or simply letting them leave without receiving a fee and most recently did this with Hector Bellerin, who joined Barcelona for nothing on deadline day in the 2022 summer window.
Pepe helped Arsenal win the FA Cup in his first season at the club, scoring eight goals and making ten assists in 42 appearances across all competitions.
In four years in north London, Pepe has provided 48 goal contributions in 112 matches.
He spent last term on loan with Ligue 1 outfit Nice, where he failed to impress Arteta enough to stake a claim to be an important player in his team in 2023/24.
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