Arsenal Steal A March In Race For Barcelona Target

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Arsenal stole a march on Spanish giants Barcelona in the chase for Lille winger Nicolas Pepe, claims football.london.

Pepe is heavily touted to make a move away from Stade Pierre-Mauroy next summer with a host of Europe’s elite club. Bayern Munich are another of the Champions League clubs monitoring the 23-year-old’s performances.

Reports in the Spanish media claim Blaugrana boss Ernesto Valverde is keen on bringing the Ivory Coast international to the Camp Nou. However, it’s Arsenal who are forcing the pace, well aware of the interest from fellow Premier League clubs Manchester United and Everton.

Pepe is doing his best to impress watching scouts. His goal in the 3 – 1 win over Saint-Etienne last weekend took him to six goals in nine Ligue Un matches this season so far. Lille are steadfast in their £30m+ valuation of the winger and would like nothing more than a bidding war between some of the world’s richest club.

Pepe as well as doing his talking on the pitch, told French media channel Telefoot that he was not planning on leaving Lille until next summer.

The Gunners head of recruitment Sven Mislintat and head coach Unai Emery are keen to strengthen the width of Arsenal’s attack with Pepe, as one of Europe’s fine young talents, fitting the Arsenal profile perfectly.