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Transfer News: Chelsea to battle Arsenal for 25-year-old Liga NOS star

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FC Porto's Evanilson Barbosa celebrates with Pepe Cossa after scoring.

Arsenal and Chelsea are set to battle it out to sign Porto winger Pepe

According to the Sun (h/t Football.London), Premier League rivals Chelsea and Arsenal are set to battle it out to sign Brazilian winger Pepe, who is playing for Liga NOS outfit FC Porto.

The Gunners were interested in signing him in the summer transfer window as well but were put off by the high price value set by the Portuguese club. They ended up with adding youngster Marquinhos to their squad, who hasn’t seen meaningful playing time under manager Mikel Arteta.

As per Portuguese outlet A Bola (h/t Football.London), scouts have been monitoring the progress of the 25-year-old this season and have been impressed by his performances so far.

Pepe Cossa in action for FC Porto against Club Brugge. (Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images)
Arsenal and Chelsea to battle it out to sign Porto winger Pepe. (Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images)

Porto are holding out for a fee of around £65m, which would trigger his release clause. He has a contract at the Dragao till the summer of 2027 (Transfermarkt) which gives the Dragons a lot of control over his future.

Pepe is a versatile player who can operate on either wing and also as an attacking midfielder if required. The former Gremio player has been at Porto since 2021.

During the first half of this season, the 25-year-old scored three goals and assisted five in 22 appearances in all competitions. He was used on either wing, as an attacking midfielder and mostly as a right-back.

So, the Brazilian is a team player who is happy to play and contribute to the team irrespective of the position he is playing. With regards to attributes, he possesses an abundance of pace, is good at dribbling, can create chances and is a willing worker off the ball.

FC Porto's Pepe Cossa on the radar for Chelsea. (Photo by MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP via Getty Images)
Scouts have been impressed with Pepe’s performance this season. (Photo by MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP via Getty Images)

Chelsea would need to quality to their wide attacking areas with the future of Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech all but confirmed to be away from the club soon.

But a player who is yet to make himself a household name by the age of 25 may not warrant such a fee. The Blues have other areas of the field to fill gaps too. So, if they are to spend money on a player in this department, he should be of a higher level.

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But what do we know? Maybe Graham Potter and his staff like Pepe and are confident of getting the best out of him. It is up to them and the transfer committee now.

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