Some sensational news circulating this morning as BBC’s David Ornstein claims Arsenal are set to sign Nicolas Pepe within 24/48 hours after agreeing a £72m deal with Lille.
Unai Emery has turned his attention to signing a winger this summer after wrapping up a loan deal for Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos last week while William Saliba also joined the club before being loaned back to Saint-Etienne for next season.
We’ve failed to agree terms with Crystal Palace for Wilfried Zaha and reports on Friday suggested Arsenal had switched focus to Pepe with Le10Sport claiming we’d joined Napoli in meeting Lille’s £72m [€80m] asking price.
Italian outlet CalcioMercato reported this morning that Pepe has snubbed interest from Napoli in favour of joining Arsenal as he wants to play in the Premier League with the attacker set to sign a contract worth £5.4m-per-season net.
Now, BBC journalist David Ornstein has confirmed Arsenal have reached an agreement with Lille worth £72m [€80m] to sign Pepe and we’ll pay via a number of installments to fit our budget this summer.
Ornstein also says the 24-year-old has rejected Napoli’s offer and is expected to complete his move to Arsenal within the next 48 hours once we finalise terms with the players agent.
Arsenal have reached an agreement with Lille to sign Ivory Coast winger Nicolas Pepe for ~€80m, 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
— David Ornstein (@bbcsport_david) July 27, 2019
Wow. I must admit I never thought we’d stand a chance of signing Pepe due to the number of clubs being linked but it looks like a deal is now on the cards, barring any late complications.
Zaha is proven in the Premier League but Pepe is by far the more talented player and he has the potential to become truly world class. 23 goals and 12 assists for Lille was an impressive contribution last season and he can play anywhere across the front three.
Let’s pray we can get this club record deal over the line this weekend as it would be a game-changer for Arsenal. I just hope Pep’s arrival wouldn’t mean Arsenal cashing-in on Alexandre Lacazette or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to balance the books!