Arsenal are reportedly paying 25% of Nicolas Pepe’s salary this season after the winger joined OGC Nice on a loan signing for the year, a figure that could be as high as £1.8m.
According to L’Equipe, the north London side are paying a quarter of Pepe’s reported £140,000-a-week wages during this season after the winger joined Nice on loan for the season, which could end up cost Arsenal close to £2m just to get the Ivorian away from the Emirates Stadium for the year.
Pepe remains Arsenal’s club-record signing after joining for a reported £72m in 2019 from LOSC Lille, however, the attacker’s form and the rise of Bukayo Saka means that the 27-year-old has hardly played under Mikel Arteta, with the forward joining Nice on loan as an attempt to get the winger back to his best.
The Ivory Coast international was one of many players to leave Arsenal on loan this summer with the likes of Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Pablo Mari and Nuno Tavares all departing north London, with Pepe signing for Nice a move that could work out very well for the Gunners.
With two years remaining on his current deal, Pepe having a standout year in France could tempt interested parties into signing the winger on a permanent transfer next summer, meaning Arsenal could recoup some of the £72m they are due to spend on the former Lille superstar.
However, Arsenal paying a decent fee to get the winger off their books for just a year is a strong indication that selling Pepe next year could prove to be a major task, even with the attacker now playing in a league where he burst onto the scene in spectacular fashion.
Branded by Arteta himself as a ‘terrific’ player, Pepe certainly has a future in the sport once he leaves Arsenal for good, and for the Gunners, they will be hoping that the attacker is signed by Nice to make a transfer next summer that much easier.
After all, Pepe’s best season to date came in Ligue 1 with Lille, and if the winger can find this level of form again with Nice, there’s a strong chance that the billionaire-backed French club could move to sign the Arsenal outcast for good next year.