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Football

Amad Diallo loan to Nice could shatter Arsenal’s hopes of offloading Pepe

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Amad Diallo; Photo/Goal.com
  • Pepe, 27, joined Arsenal for a club-record €80 million back in 2019.
  • Arsenal is keen to get Pepe off their books, with his salary eating a fair chunk into their weekly wage bill

Manchester United’s desire to loan out young forward Amad Diallo could hinder Arsenal’s chances of offloading Nicolas Pepe this summer.

Pepe, 27, joined Arsenal for a club-record €80 million back in 2019, but after three years of inconsistent performances, the Gunners want to sell the Ivorian before Deadline Day.

With the emergence of Bukayo Saka as Mikel Arteta’s preferred option on the right wing, combined with the summer arrivals of Gabriel Jesus, Fabio Vieira, and Marquinhos, all of whom operate in the front four, Pepe has been deemed surplus to requirements.

Nicolas Pepe and His Struggles at Arsenal - Last Word on Football

Mikel Arteta has been deemed Pepe surplus to requirements; Photo/Last Word

Arsenal is therefore keen to get him off their books, with his salary eating a fair chunk into their weekly wage bill.

However, with his form since joining the Gunners from Lille not particularly impressive, interest has been limited. But, Arsenal may have been given a lifeline by interest from Nice, who are exploring the possibility of bringing Pepe back to Ligue 1.

The French side’s interest in Pepe has been confirmed by multiple sources, including RMC Sport and The Athletic. The former has reported that Pepe is Nice’s priority this summer, while the latter has revealed that the two clubs are in talks over a deal.

Could United’s desire to loan Amad Diallo play a role?

Now, while Pepe is reportedly Nice’s priority, the Ligue 1 club is also interested in signing Man Utd’s Diallo on loan.

The Red Devils sent the teenager to spend the second half of the last campaign on loan at Scottish side Rangers, where he made 13 appearances and scored three goals.

It now seems as though another loan move is the preferred option for Diallo, with the Ivorian not featuring in new head coach Erik ten Hag’s immediate plans for the 2022-23 Premier League season.

Amad Diallo - Player profile 22/23 | Transfermarkt

Nice is interested in signing Man United’s Diallo on loan; Photo/Transfermarkt

Nice is monitoring his situation, and according to RMC Sport, they have spoken to the player and his representatives about a move. Diallo is being considered as an alternative to Pepe if Nice can’t strike a deal with Arsenal for the former Lille man.

As for Pepe’s future, Arsenal boss Arteta has remained tight-lipped, revealing in his pre-Bournemouth press conference: “What we can communicate we always do when it’s the right moment. We discussed that we have a big squad and we’ve made some decisions and allowed some players to leave.

“Until the end of the window, it’s possible that anything can happen with any player.”

While it seems as though Nice would like to add Pepe to their ranks, Diallo remains an option and they don’t have the funds to sign both this summer, meaning it’s one or the other.

Elias Makokha is a professional Media Practitioner venturing into Corporate Communications, Radio Broadcast and Digital content creation with a keen interest in videography, photography and online Writing. He works well individually and collaboratively with his juniors, peers and seniors. He adheres to the hallmarks of journalism and accurately reports by conducting fact checks from reputable sources before publishing.

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