Arsenal are reportedly investigating themselves over Nicolas Pepe’s £72million transfer fee.
The Gunners have taken the extraordinary step to find out whether they splashed too much cash on the club-record signing last summer.
ESPN reports the North London club are undergoing a recruitment overhaul and as a result are looking into claims they “vastly overpaid” for the player.
Arsenal execs have axed a number of top scouts as part of streamlining measures.
The club sacked top recruiter Francis Cagigao as part of their Covid-19 cost-cutting.
The 51-year-old discovered stars like Cesc Fabregas, Gabriel Martinelli and Hector Bellerin.
The club also made 55 non-playing staff redundant in the wake of the pandemic.
Pepe signed from Lille in August 2019 and had attracted the attention of a number of Europe’s top clubs after impressive showings in Ligue 1.
Arsenal put down an initial £20m for the winger with a further £52m to be paid over five years, the first part of which is due this summer.
The move was made under the tenure of ex-boss Unai Emery – who is thought to have preferred a deal for Crystal Palace ace Wilfried Zaha.
And although the Gunners do not regret signing Pepe, individuals at other interested clubs balked at the figures involved in the deal – leading to the review.
Pepe initially struggled with the weight of expectation after the big-money move to the Emirates.
But the Ivorian settled in and despite being in and out of the starting XI with the emergence of Bukayo Saka, bagged a respectable five goals and six assists in 31 Premier League appearances.