Dietmar Hamann has told Newcastle United to steer well clear of Arsenal forward Nicolas Pepe.
What’s the latest Newcastle United transfer news?
Given Eddie Howe’s search for a forward this summer, the Ivory Coast international has been linked with a move to St James’ Park.
On the face of it, a move for Pepe would make sense. A player with Premier League experience coming towards the end of his contract, the 27-year-old might have been seen as a reasonable target during the January transfer window as Howe’s team started their battle against what often looked like an inevitable relegation.
Still, with a whole summer to work with (albeit a frustrating one), surely the club could do better than a man who has flopped since his £72m move to the Premier League.
Despite ending his last season with Lille having scored 22 times in 38 games, Pepe has mustered only 27 in 112 appearances in north London. Reportedly on wages worth around £140k-per-week, Pepe has done little to prove he’s worth a gamble for a team aiming for a top ten finish at least, and one whose signing of a new forward is believed to be a priority.
What has been said about Pepe and Newcastle?
Speaking to Genting Casino, Hamann said: “Nicolas Pepe has shown glimpses of what he can do and when he’s on form he’s as good to watch as anyone else but the risk is too big for me.
“Newcastle are a special club and I think the pressure could be even bigger than at Arsenal because at Arsenal the expectations are lower.
“For a player who performs well one in every eight games, I’d leave that transfer alone if I were Newcastle.”
Who could Newcastle turn to next?
Reports from the Daily Telegraph over the weekend claimed the club had seen a £40m bid for Leicester City star James Maddison rejected.
The player himself is said to be keen on the move, however, so perhaps that’s one to watch heading into the final month of the window.