Arsenal have been one of the busiest teams during this summer’s transfer window.
The north London outfit have splashed over £110 million to bring in five first-team players in the form of Matt Turner, Fabio Vieira, Marquinhos, Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko. Technical director Edu has also been keen to offload several fringe players, with the likes of Lucas Torreira, Bernd Leno and Pablo Mari all leaving in recent weeks.
However, there is still more clearing out to do and club-record signing Nicolas Pepe is closing in on a season-long loan move to Ligue 1 side OGC Nice, football.london understands. The move is now expected to progress quickly and football.london understands that it is likely to be completed within the next 48 hours.
Despite the Gunners not receiving a transfer fee for the Ivorian, they will save £7.28 million on the player’s wages for the year, according to Spotrac’s salary table. Another fringe player that is likely to depart the Emirates Stadium is versatile midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
Maitland-Niles has been offered to Southampton, football.london understands, with the Hale End academy graduate clearly not featuring in Mikel Arteta’s plans. The 24-year-old has less than 10 months left on his current contract in north London, although football.london understands that the Gunners retain an option to extend his deal by a further 12 months, giving them an advantage in potential negotiations for a deal if the Saints only want to take him on loan.
If the England international’s exit is just a temporary one, Arsenal would still save £2.7 million on his salary for the year, as per Spotrac – meaning that the club could be set to save £9.9 million in wages for the year if the two loan moves are indeed finalised.