Bengaluru, January 6: Arsenal have been handed a huge blow by former Real Madrid defender Pepe as the veteran centre-back has reportedly agreed to join Thiery Henry's Monaco rejecting a deal from the Gunners.
The 35-year-old became a free agent in December when Besiktas mutually agreed to terminate his contract and since then has been linked with several top sides.
Arsenal who are having defensive issues, following Rob Holding's season-ending injury reportedly approached the defender as a short-term fix and cheap addition.
But according to reports in France, rejecting the proposal, the three times UCL winner have now apparently given a green signal to a move to France with him joining Henry at Monaco which is fighting relegation.
Despite reports yesterday saying that Pepe was set to return to Porto, @DiMarzio is today reporting that he will soon join Naldo at Monaco.— Jeremy Smith (@jeremysmith98) January 5, 2019
With Fabregas set to join next week too, Monaco clearly changing track from very young to very experienced to save themselves.
Pepe will be the third senior player after Fabregas and Naldo to join 19th placed Monaco with Henry looking to push in the required experience in the team in his attempts to drag the club away from relegation trouble in Ligue 1.
Monaco already signed Naldo from Schalke last week while Fabregas' move to Monaco is expected to be complete by this week after he bid an emotional farewell to Chelsea on Saturday after helping the English side overcome Nottingham Forest.
Fabregas and his agent, Darren Dein, reportedly has already travelled to Monaco with the principality for a meeting with club president Vadim Vasilyev and a deal could soon be announced.
Meanwhile, Arsenal following the snub from Pepe have reportedly turned their attention towards Juventus defender Medhi Benatia.
Rumour ❗️❗️— officialrvl (@officialrvl1) January 6, 2019
Moroccan midfielder @MedhiBenatia is ready to sign for @Arsenal will this be a good signing for the gunners this January? #Arsenal #Juventus #italy #England #premierleague #morroco pic.twitter.com/37odG6Dnsy
The Gunners are set to lose star midfielder Aaron Ramsey next Summer as a free agent after he rejected a contract proposal. With six months left until he is freed, Ramsey is free to sign a pre-contract agreement with a new club ahead of a summer move and according to reports, Juventus have completed personal terms with the Wales international. Juventus looked for an immediate deal in January but reportedly agreed to wait till next Summer.
Arsenal have maintained their stance suggesting they are not ready to let go of the 28-year-old mid-season. However with the current situations apparently they could now consider sanctioning Ramsey's early departure in January should Moroccan international Benatia be involved in the deal.
Benatia has been playing at Juventus for the past two and a half years, having joined the club on a season-long loan in 2016 before making the move permanent but has been a backup player in the team mainly. He has not played for the Old lady since November and now could be set for a January move.
The 32-year-old defender attains a vast experience and might be a cheeky addition in solving Unai Emery's issues in defence immediately.