Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe saw a proposed move to Besiktas collapse yesterday, and it is now unclear what the future holds for him.

The 28-year-old has one year left on his deal, and having spent last season on loan at Nice, he is not in Mikel Arteta’s plans for the season.

Fabrizio Romano has now claimed, in his Caught Offside column, that Pepe’s move to Besiktas fell through because he could not agree on a contract with the Turkish side.

“Despite reports, it’s not so much the case that Nicolas Pepe has rejected a move to Besiktas – they negotiated but didn’t agree on the length of the contract or his salary,” he stated.

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“That’s why both sides left conversations and the Pepe deal is now on stand-by. Let’s see what Arsenal will decide to do now.”

Worth a shot?

There has been talk that despite Arsenal’s strength in depth in attacking areas, Mikel Arteta may look to add a winger who can provide cover for Bukayo Saka.

With little time remaining in the transfer window, there appears to be no suitor for Pepe, who was once Arsenal’s record signing.

The winger has provided 48 goals and assists in 68 starts for the club across all competitions, and was rarely ever given a consistent run of starts to prove his quality. When he did, in the 2020-21 season, he ended the campaign as Arsenal’s top scorer with 16 goals.

Arsenal Training Session
Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Although he is nowhere near the level of Saka, and he does not suit Arteta’s system given his need for additional space in the final third, Arsenal may be better off keeping him rather than paying extra to terminate his contract.

With Leandro Trossard, Reiss Nelson and Emile Smith Rowe, Arsenal are well stocked when it comes to alternative options to Saka. However, should Pepe stay, he can be an emergency backup who can play in the Carabao Cup and other games where Saka may be rested.

If Pepe and Arteta are willing to agree on a squad role for him, reintegrating him and potentially putting him in the shop window, could be an option to consider.

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