Arsenal attacker Nicolas Pepe is nearing a move to Besiktas, and he has been training separately from the rest of the squad ahead of his transfer.

That’s according to CBS journalist James Benge, who has confirmed that the Ivorian winger is closing in on a move to Besiktas having agreed a contract, but is waiting for Arsenal to agree a deal with the Turkish club.

Pepe has not joined the rest of the squad for training, unlike other players on the verge of exits such as Albert Sambi Lokonga, indicating that a move is perhaps close to completion.

“Nicolas Pepe is closing in on a move to Besiktas, however the Turkish side are expected to wait for Arsenal to terminate the contract of their one-time record signing, who has not returned to training,” Benge claimed.

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Although Pepe is not at the level of Bukayo Saka or Emile Smith Rowe, and does need a fresh start away from the club, there may be a feeling of regret on both sides.

His final full season saw him end the 2020-21 campaign with 16 goals, more than anyone else in the squad, but he has barely been given a chance to prove himself since.

Mikel Arteta even described him as “phenomenal,” but he could not find consistency, nor was he given a regular run of games beyond his second season.

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It sums up how much his stock has fallen since his highly anticipated club record arrival, that he will now depart four years later for a minimal fee, but both the club and winger will be frustrated at how different his time at the Emirates could have been.

Pepe will leave through the back door having provided the assist for the winner in the FA Cup final three years ago, and will unfortunately be remembered for his price tag rather than his talent.

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