There was a lot of talk this summer about how Arsenal didn’t have enough money to sign a star player this summer. However, The Gunners made a huge business this Saturday and have reportedly reached an agreement with French club Lille to sign Ivory Coast winger Nicolas Pepe in a deal worth €80 million (£72m).
Yes, Arsenal DO have some serious budget issues. However, Lille were more than happy to accept Arsenal’s offer of paying for the 24-year-old via a series of instalments that suit their restricted budget for this summer. Pepe need to agree personal terms with Arsenal, but that’s expected to happen between the next day or two.
Arsenal won the Pepe race since Napoli also met the club’s asking price. However, the Ivorian rejected the proposal from the Serie A giants. Will he accept what Arsenal has to offer? That’s not an easy call since he already rejected an offer from a side that will play in the UEFA Champions League next season, something Arsenal can’t offer.
If Arsenal finalise the move for Pepe, then the club will add the wing threat they had been looking for during the entire summer. They were linked with a move for Wilfried Zaha, but Crystal Palace wouldn’t refuse to go below an £80m asking price that was just too much for Arsenal this summer.
The Ivory Coast international scored 23 goals in 41 appearances for Lille last season.