‘He is not in my plans anymore’: Arteta told Edu to get ride of another underperforming Arsenal player before the break is over

Arsenal star has agreed a short-term contract with Turkish outfit Trabzonspor, according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano.

The 28-year-old spent last season on loan with Ligue 1 side OGC Nice before returning to north London earlier this summer.

However, it quickly became clear that the Ivory Coast international was not part of Mikel Arteta’s plans for the 2023/24 campaign and he is now said to be on the verge of sealing a move to Trabzonspor, undergoing a medical at his new club on Friday.

Writing on X (formerly Twitter), Romano said: “Nicolas Pépé to Trabzonspor. Medical tests on Friday morning.

“Short term deal until June 2024. Player travelling later tonight. Here we go, confirmed.”

That means that the Gunners will save millions in wages, with Spotrac claiming that Pepe was paid £7.28million per year during his time at the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal sporting director Edu will be happy to trim the wage bill, previously making it no secret of his desire to have a sustainable salary structure.

“If a guy is performing and has a big salary, that’s not a problem,” Edu said last year. “When the player is 26-plus, big salary and he’s not performing, he’s killing you.

“You don’t have a valuation to sell the player, the player is comfortable — Arsenal, London, beautiful, everything is fantastic — and a good salary. How many players with that kind of characteristics did we have in the past? 80 per cent of the squad.

“Try to avoid one more year with the problem in the dressing room. Take it out. Even if you have to pay because that guy is sometimes blocking someone.

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