Arsenal transfer news: Why Gunners chose Nicolas Pepe over Wilfried Zaha

Zaha has been left looking for options after making it clear he wants to leave Crystal Palace with Everton his likeliest destination

Miguel Delaney
Chief Football Writer
Monday 29 July 2019 16:51
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Arsenal are set to complete the £72m of Nicolas Pepe in the next few days, and it is understood that the more favourable structure of the deal saw them turn to the Lille winger over Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha.

Zaha had been intent on the switch, and is now left anxious about his future and hoping for a transfer to Everton, after the demands of both Palace and the player's representative ultimately put Arsenal off.

Although Pepe and Zaha would have been roughly the same fee - at a total of around £70m - the Selhurst Park hierarchy wanted at least £55m up front.

Lille have instead agreed a deal whereby the payment is spread over a number of years, allowing Arsenal to secure such a signing while also sticking to a more limited transfer budget this summer.

It is similarly understood that Pepe's wage demands are far lower, which was another issue causing Arsenal to stall on the Zaha deal.

The Ivorian winger ultimately presented a signing that offered far grater value.

Zaha's representatives are now seeking to secure a move elsewhere, with the player having made his desire to leave clear.

Everton are the likeliest destination.

The player is also interested in a move to Tottenham Hotspur, who have been made aware of the situation, but they do not currently want to make such a move.

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