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Arsenal, Barcelona Begin Pepe, Dembele Swap Talks

Arsenal are ready to offload Nicolas Pepe – and it seems the Ivorian winger could be heading for a shock new club.

The 25-year-old cost the Gunners a club record £72m in summer 2019 – but has been a major disappointment.

Pepe perhaps hammered the final nail into his coffin at Arsenal after seeing red at Leeds recently. Mikel Arteta described the incident as “unacceptable”.

Now, according to Todofijaches, the former Lille man could be offered an escape route to Barcelona.

As per the Spanish source, Arsenal and Barcelona have entered talks over a potential swap deal. In return for Pepe, it’s claimed the Gunners will receive another ‘troubled’ winger, Ousmane Dembele. Arteta is said to have green-lighted the potential exchange.

World Cup winner Dembele has also struggled to find his best since a €105m switch to Barcelona back in 2017.

In 84 games, he has struck 22 goals and has been badly hampered by injury.Pepe on the other hand has managed to score just 12 times in 56 outings for the Gunners.

Barca tried to offload Dembele to Manchester United over the summer, to no avail.

And despite making seven appearances this season, it seems Ronald Koeman still wants rid. The Dutchman remains keen on a deal for Memphis Depay as his replacement, while Pepe would also offer another option.

The report, however, does state that Barcelona would seek a small cash adjustment from Arsenal were the deal to go through.

But they conclude they were keen on Pepe prior to his move to Arsenal and remain keen despite his struggles.

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