According to TalkSport Arsenal have launched an internal investigation into why they paid so much money for club record signing Nicolas Pepe, reports claim.
The 25-year-old became the Gunners’ most expensive signing when he joined for £72million from Lille last summer.
After an inconsistent start, Pepe ended the 2019/20 season in fine form
And he scored eight goals and registered 10 assists in his debut season in England.
But ESPN say while there is believed to be no regret in signing Pepe, Arsenal reckon they overpaid to bring him to the Emirates.
Arsenal paid £20m up front, with a commitment to a further £52m over the next five years.
That first instalment is due to be paid this summer and the commitment to owe that extra chunk has led to ‘a review of scouting reports and negotiating process’ to determine why such a huge deal was made.
Pepe was a wanted man by Europe’s top clubs after scoring 23 goals in 41 appearances in the 2018/19 campaign with Lille.
And the report adds that individuals who were working for rival clubs to try to sign Pepe were stunned by the transfer fee Arsenal eventually paid.
Now, the transfer is being investigated by club officials as part of a recruitment overhaul which saw scouts Francis Cagigao, Brian McDermott and Brian Clark leave north London.
Unai Emery, Arsenal’s manager at the time when Pepe arrived, revealed he wanted to sign Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha instead.
However, the Eagles were believed to want a large fee paid upfront – and not in instalments – which resulted in Arsenal going for Pepe.
Emery said: “I told them, ‘This is the player I know and want’. I met Zaha and he wanted to come.
“The club decided Pepe was one for the future. I said, ‘Yes, but we need to win now and this lad wins games.’ He beat us on his own.
“It’s also true he was expensive and Palace didn’t want to sell. There were a series of decisions that had repercussions.”