Whelan says Newcastle can sign Arsenal star for cut-price deal

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Football Insider pundit Noel Whelan believes Arsenal flop Nicolas Pepe could be interested in a move to Tyneside.

The Ivory Coast international has failed to live up to his price-tag since making club-record £72million move to Arsenal from Lille and might be looking for a fresh start elsewhere.

Whelan believes London team would be willing to let Pepe go for a cut-price deal this summer, as he has fallen out of the pecking order under manager Mikel Arteta.

“When you consider the money they paid for him, he’s been very average.

“It’s a really bad bit of business from Arsenal. If they can get £25million for him, they need to be taking it – even if it’s a massive loss. Teams will be reluctant to pay that sort of fee for an inconsistent player like Pepe, though. It may well be a loan-to-buy deal.

“He’s really not contributed enough. Whether the Premier League is too tough for him, I don’t know – we know he came from France, which is a far easier league. A loan move may be something that Newcastle might fancy. These are the sort of players they will be targeting. He could turn his career around and end up being that big-ticket player. But right now, it’s a gamble.” concluded Whelan.