Arsenal manager Unai Emery believes Lille winger Nicolas Pepe would ‘really, really improve’ his squad – but the Gunners have immediate concerns over the fitness of Alexandre Lacazette after he limped out of the Emirates on Sunday wearing a protective boot on his left foot.
Emery confirmed they are still working on a £72million move for the coveted forward following a breakthrough in negotiations last week.
Arsenal have already signed attacker Gabriel Martinelli, defender William Saliba, and Dani Ceballos, who joined on a season-long loan deal from Real Madrid and made his debut on Sunday.
Unai Emery has spoken publicly of his desire to sign Lille’s Nicolas Pepe (pictured) at Arsenal
The Arsenal boss was speaking post-match after their pre-season defeat by Lyon on Sunday
But the Arsenal boss insisted they are still looking to add more players to their squad – provided they are a significant upgrade on their current crop.
‘We are working with the club, and also thinking how we can improve,’ Emery said.
‘They have different players on the table with the possibility we can achieve their signature. Pepe is a very good player, and also we are thinking only players who really, really improve this squad, and also give us some different conditions for improve.
Pepe (right, pictured on international duty with the Ivory Coast) is valued at £72million by Lille
‘We are working for the last few weeks and before the season starts, the first match in Newcastle, to get the best team with the best players in our squad.’
Lacazette, meanwhile, will be assessed by doctors over the coming days after suffering a suspected ankle sprain.
The striker had to be brought off after only 12 minutes of their 2-1 Emirates Cup defeat by Lyon but Emery said the substitution was precautionary.
He added: ‘We are thinking it’s not serious. He decided with a doctor and me that it’s better to take no more risk.
‘He tried to continue but it was better in pre-season not to take a risk. The doctor said they will check tomorrow but it’s not serious.’
Alexandre Lacazette walked out of the Emirates Stadium in a protective boot on Sunday
The striker injured his ankle and hobbled off 12 minutes into the match against Lyon on Sunday
Earlier Moussa Dembele scored two second-half goals to dampen Arsenal’s preparations for the new season.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had opened the scoring in a first half that saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan also go close.
Ceballos came on to a rousing reception after the break but he was unable to prevent Arsenal slipping to defeat after Martinelli had a late goal ruled out.
Emery admitted afterwards that the attempted carjacking involving Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac may have affected his squad.
‘Ozil and Kolasinac (were) out and not all the concentration and focus was 100 per cent to keep consistently for 90 minutes to win the game.’
Arsenal plan to assess the mental state of Mesut Ozil (middle row, second from left) and Sead Kolasinac (third from left) over the coming days following an attempted carjacking incident
Kolasinac (pictured) can be seen darting from the front end of the car to the rear as he faces off the assailants in north London while protecting the passenger side door of the black SUV