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Report: Cautious Arsenal identify World Cup winner as £72m Pepe alternative

Arsenal have identifed a potential Nicolas Pepe alternative should the Ivorian attacker fail to complete a move to the Emirates Stadium this summer.

The Gunners have reportedly had a bid of £72 million accepted by Lille for the 24-year-old, which they will be allowed to pay in installments.

(Photo by Johnny Fidelin/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

The club now have to negotiate personal terms, but the transfer could be completed by Monday according to BBC Sport.

It is a major turnaround for Arsenal, who have taken their time to get going this summer in the transfer market.

Fans are hugely excited about Pepe potentially signing, but should that fail to come to fruition, then the club have made a backup plan.

The Gunners have inquired about Marseille’s Florian Thauvin according to La Provence, in case things go awry with their proposed £72 million transfer.

TBR’s view

Arsenal fans may struggle to accept it given the hype surrounding Pepe, but Thauvin could be a decent alternative should it come to it.

Many will remember his struggles as a Newcastle United player a few years ago, but the Frenchman – a 2018 World Cup winner – is a totally different player these days.

(Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Something has clicked for the star, who scored 18 goals last season and made nine assists. In 2017/18, he bagged 26 goals and assisted 17.

Like Pepe, Thauvin plays mainly from the right wing and is effective cutting in onto his strong left foot.

He doesn’t have the same searing pace as the Lille ace, but is arguably more deft and creative.

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