Nicolas Pepe is expected to have a medical with Arsenal this week.
Sky Sports News understands a deal has been agreed with Lille and that the player has also agreed to join Arsenal.
The fee will be structured in instalments to fall in line with Arsenal’s limited budget which has threatened a number of their bids this summer, notably for Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha.
Nicolas Pepe is expected to have a medical with Arsenal this week ahead of big summer move
Arsenal are also understood to be offering better terms for the 24-year-old Pepe who is poised to agree a five-year contract.
Unai Emery’s scouts have followed the exciting forward for some time yet Arsenal were wary of becoming embroiled in a bidding war as the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich were all linked.
Pepe is quick, can play across the front line and scored 23 goals in 41 appearances last season.
The Ivory Cost international’s agents had held talks with Napoli on Thursday and looked to be close to agreement, however, it is understood Napoli’s offer of around £3.6million a year after tax fell short of the player’s demands.
Unai Emery has spoken publicly of his desire to sign Lille’s Pepe (pictured) this summer
Pepe (right, pictured on international duty with the Ivory Coast) is valued at £72million by Lille
Emery believes the Lille winger would ‘really, really improve’ his squad.
The Gunners boss 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.
‘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.
‘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.’
The Gunners will split the transfer fee over five seasons in order to fit with their budget