Arsenal could sell £70m star to Saudi Arabia, in bid to boost transfer funds: report

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta during a training session at London Colney on April 11, 2023 in St Albans, England.
(Image credit: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal could sell one of their stars to Saudi Arabia, as they look to recoup some money and bolster their transfer funds this summer.

The Gunners have big plans for the transfer window, with Declan Rice rumoured to be close to agreeing a deal. Arsenal have struggled to sell players since the end of the Arsene Wenger days but may well buck that trend this summer with the likes of Kieran Tierney, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Folarin Balogun targets for European sides.

Intriguingly, two other stars have begun looking for moves – and one may find a new home in the Saudi Pro League, following the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Steven Gerrard to the Middle East. 

Cristiano Ronaldo looks dejected during an Al Nassr game in April 2023.

Cristiano Ronaldo has led a revolution of more Europe-based stars heading to the Middle East (Image credit: Getty Images)

According to journalist Chris Wheatley, Cedric Soares and Nicolas Pepe are both seeking exits from the Emirates Stadium after loan spells, with the latter a target for the Saudi Pro League.

Pepe joined Arsenal in 2019 for £72m, becoming the club's record signing and a statement buy under Unai Emery. After three seasons in north London, however, the Ivorian failed to deliver anything close to the form he displayed at Lille, going on loan to Nice for the 2022/23 season.

Arsenal wouldn't come anywhere near to collecting the full £72m that they shelled out for Pepe but the Saudi Pro League would at least be likely to offer the winger something close to the wages he has enjoyed from the Gunners.

Mikel Arteta has since replaced Pepe with Bukayo Saka on the right wing, with Reiss Nelson expected to sign a new deal as the England star's deputy on that flank, as per Art De Roche of The Athletic.

Most expensive British signing

Nicolas Pepe cost Arsenal £72m – but failed to light up the Premier League (Image credit: Getty)

With Arsenal targeting expensive new additions for this transfer window, getting rid of Pepe would not only be useful to bring in more money to spend, it would free up more of the wage budget.

Pepe is valued at €22m by Transfermarkt

More Arsenal stories

Arsenal transfer news is ramping up this summer, with the Gunners set to loosen their wage structure to attract the best players.

Moises Caicedo is heavily linkedXavi Simons is on the radarIvan Fresneda could join and Ilkay Gundogan is wanted, too. Arsenal could sell £100m worth of players, too – with William SalibaMartin Odegaard and Thomas Partey all wanted by clubs overseas.

Jay Bothroyd, meanwhile, has told FFT that the Gunners perhaps surprisingly, should be in the market for a striker.

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