Unai Emery managed to secure a double signing on Thursday with Dani Ceballos [on loan from Madrid] and William Saliba [going back to Saint-Etienne on loan] following Gabriel Martinelli in joining Arsenal this summer.
However, the boss is expected to bring in at least two further signings before the window slams shut and Emery has been desperately trying to strengthen his attack with a top class winger in recent weeks.
We’ve been strongly linked with Wilfried Zaha but are struggling to agree terms with Crystal Palace and it seems we’ve now turned our attentions to Nicolas Pepe, if reports from France are to be believed.
Le10Sport reported yesterday that Arsenal were among the leading pack to sign Pepe and L’Equipe, via GFFN, have gone one better today after claiming that we’ve met Lille’s £72m [€80m] asking price.
That would be a club record deal for a hugely talented attacker who scored 22 goals and provided 12 assists for Lille in Ligue 1 last season, so we should all be buzzing about this impending deal, right?
Well, not exactly as L’Equipe says Inter Milan, Napoli and Liverpool have also had £72m [€80m] offers accepted while Manchester United and Atletico Madrid have indicated they will table offers if they manage to raise funds by selling existing strikers.
That is A LOT of competition for Arsenal to fend off and with no Champions League football to offer the Ivory Coast international, it’s difficult to see us being able to win this particular transfer race.
L’Equipe says Pepe is expected to make his decision over which club to join once he returns to pre-season training next week but as much as I’d love to see Arsenal make a real statement of intent by landing the 24-year-old, I just don’t see us being his chosen club.
I personally think Zaha remains the most likely addition in attack this summer and I think we’ll see Arsenal go back in with an offer worth in excess of £60m. Will it be enough to get a deal agreed with Palace….let’s wait and see.