Nicolas Pepe sends clear transfer message to Arsenal as Edu closes in on £3m replacement
Arsenal have perhaps received the biggest hint yet that Nicolas Pepe is preparing for a move away this summer after he announced his decision to change agents.
In a post published on Instagram, the 26-year-old confirmed the switch and said: 'I fully trust Luis Ferrer and his team to help me doing the right choices, and get to new summits and challenges in the best possible way. My family and I are really looking forward to what's next.'
football.london reported in January that Pepe was considering his options after making just five Premier League starts, the previous one coming in October last year. The player himself has admitted his frustration over the lack of game time but understands it's difficult for the manager to change much when the team is doing well.
"When a team is winning it is hard for a coach to make changes," he said. "Mikel Arteta has explained that to me and the coach knows what I think and how hard I'm working. Sometimes it's not easy to communicate with the language barrier. It has been a tough season for me.
"Of course, it is frustrating not to play. No player enjoys not playing but I have to respect the coach's decision and the team is doing well at the moment."
Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli have all overtaken him in the pecking order, with the situation looking unlikely to change any time soon. Arsenal have agreed to sign Sao Paulo winger Marquinhos for a fee in the region of £3m, football.london understands.
The left-footed winger is said to be 'one for the future' but could be given the chance to impress during pre-season, and if he does, you get the sense that opportunities for Pepe will only continue to decrease. It's believed Arteta wants to add at least two new forwards to his frontline this summer, with the club remaining confident over a deal to sign Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus.
Ferrer, Pepe's new agent, followed up his client's comments with a post of his own in which he said: 'The past year had been tough (for Pepe), but we both believe more than ever in his potential and know that the coming season will be an absolute success'.