Celtic could sign £72 million Arsenal signing for free

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Arsenal v Swansea City
Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Arsenal v Swansea City / Matthew Ashton/GettyImages

Celtic have an important summer transfer window ahead of them. One area where they might need to improve is on the wings. The club saw Jota leave last year and Liel Abada has followed him out the exit door recently. That means their options on the flanks are not the most impressive. Daizen Maeda has not had a good season while Nicolas Kuhn and Yang Hyun-jun still have a lot to prove.

Celtic's most in-form winger is out on loan. Mikey Johnston is having quite the time in the Championship with West Bromwich Albion and has left questioning fans why he was not fiven more chances at Parkhead.

There have been quite a few rumours regarding the position recently. There have been suggestions that Celtic prefer to transfer away Johnston in the summer, now that they can bring in a decent fee. Also, it has been suggested that the club want to sign a top quality winger after Abada's eight-figure exit.

One interesting option for Celtic to consider might be Nicolas Pepe. The Africa Cup of Nations winner's current deal with Trabzonspor is believed to be expiring in the summer.

Celtic could sign £72 million Arsenal signing for free

Arsenal had signed Pepe in the summer of 2019 for a then club-record £72 million transfer fee from Lille. He did not meet expectations at the London club.

Contrary to popular belief, his time at Arsenal was not completely terrible. Pepe delivered 18 goal contributions in his first season, 23 in his second and 9 in this third, when he barely featured. He was also effective on loan at OGC Nice, although he had to deal with injury problems as well.

Pepe has not played a ton of football for Trabzonspor, spending a decent bit of time away on international duty, as he was part of Ivory Coast's Africa Cup of Nations team. But his numbers when played are solid. According to stats from Transfermarkt, he has scored 4 goals and provided 2 assists in 13 appearances and 565 minutes of football.

Rumours have suggested that Celtic are targeting some high-profile signings next summer after a disappointing 2023/24 campaign. Someone like Pepe would fit that bill.