Arsenal set to complete Nicolas Pepe transfer in next 24-48 hours after agreement reached


ARSENAL are set to complete the signing of Lille star Nicolas Pepe, it has been claimed.

Arsenal and Napoli, as well as Manchester United, Liverpool and PSG, have been linked with Pepe so far this transfer window.

The Ivory Coast international was in fine form for Lille domestically last season, scoring 22 goals from 38 Ligue 1 matches and contributing 11 assists along the way.

Arsenal are restricted when it comes to transfers this summer following Unai Emery’s failure to steer his side into the Champions League qualifying slots, with reports claiming they have a budget as low as £40m.

The north London giants have so far failed to land Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace, with the former Manchester United star having a price tag of £80million.

And, now, BBC Sport journalist David Ornstein has claimed Arsenal are on the brink of landing Pepe.

“Arsenal have reached an agreement with Lille to sign Ivory Coast winger Nicolas Pepe for €80m,” he wrote on Twitter.

“Paid by instalments to fit #AFC budget. 5yr deal, agent agreement still needed but set to be closed in next 24/48hrs.

“Napoli also have agreement with #LOSC but agent rejected proposal.”

Should Arsenal sign the 24-year-old, then that would likely see them give up on Zaha.

But who the Lille star ends up choosing remains to be seen, with Napoli able to offer him Champions League football.

Meanwhile, speaking on Tuesday, Lille chief Gerard Lopez confirmed the player’s exit from the club was nearly done.

“In terms of departures and arrivals, if a player leaves, we will go and get what we need,” he said.

“For Nico, it is almost done and he could have left last summer.

“It is true that there are big offers and big clubs in for him, so I think [he will leave].

“Aside from that, you never know in football.”

Arsenal are hoping to make Pepe their fourth signing of the summer after previous deals for Dani Ceballos, Gabriel Martinelli and William Saliba.


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