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Arsenal transfer news: Mikel Arteta set to raise £40m from selling just TWO unwanted stars

Mikel Arteta
(Image credit: Getty)

Arsenal could receive £40m from selling Nicolas Pepe and Lucas Torreira, according to reports.

Torreira has been on loan from Arsenal this season at Fiorentina, with the Serie A outfit prepared to pay the £15m option-to-buy in the clause. Nicolas Pepe, however, is also attracting attention from Italy and will be sold for around £25m.

Arsenal have long struggled to sell talent, with their biggest-ever sales both totalling around £35m. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was sold to Liverpool for that amount in 2018, while Alex Iwobi also went to Merseyside when Everton bought him in 2019. 

In fact, Arsenal didn't receive a penny when they let go of Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey, Nacho Monreal, Danny Welbeck, Jack Wilshere, Petr Cech or Shkodran Mustafi in recent years. The best sales that the Gunners have made in the past two seasons are Joe Willock and Emi Martinez, both fringe players sold for around £20m to Premier League sides. 

The idea of raising £40m from two sales, therefore, is heartening for fans.

Torreira initially impressed in north London. The Uruguayan scored early on in his Gunners career against Tottenham Hotspur and was seen as a dynamic midfielder - but in his second season with the club, things dramatically took a turn for the worst.

Unai Emery favoured playing the diminutive defensive midfielder as a no.10, while successor Arteta made Thomas Partey a priority in Arsenal's midfield to improve the physicality in the team. Torreira was originally shipped out on loan to Atletico Madrid, before being sent out to Fiorentina this term.

The 25-year-old has said to have impressed back in Italy, where Arsenal originally signed him from Sampdoria. Fiorentina are apparently ready to activate the buy clause, giving Arteta £15m to spend.

Pepe, however, was a much costlier mistake. After joining from Lille in 2019, the Ivorian had a slow start to life in red and white and has never gained any kind of consistency during his time in England. Emery later admitted that he never wanted to sign the winger, while Arteta has opted instead to play Bukayo Saka on the right wing for the Gunners. 

AC Milan are said to be interested in a £25m switch.