Sunday 18 August 2019

Emery and Arsenal closing in on club-record Pepe swoop

The Ivory Coast international is set to cost the Gunners more than the £55million they paid for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Nicolas Pepe is on the verge of a move to Unai Emery’s Arsenal (Nick Potts/PA)
Nicolas Pepe is on the verge of a move to Unai Emery’s Arsenal (Nick Potts/PA)

By Mark Mann-Bryans, PA

Arsenal are closing in on the club-record signing of winger Nicolas Pepe from Lille, PA understands.

The 24-year-old scored 22 goals in Ligue 1 last year and is now on the verge of completing a move to the Emirates Stadium.

Pepe had been previously linked with the likes of Manchester United and Napoli but Unai Emery’s Gunners emerged as somewhat surprise frontrunners over the weekend.

The Ivory Coast International started his professional career with Angers and has shone since joining Lille in 2017.

Any deal is expected to include Arsenal paying in installments while it is believed the overall fee will eclipse Arsenal’s previous record – £55million for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January 2018.

Meanwhile, Lille have been linked with Warford’s Dodi Lukebakio as a replacement for Pepe.

Europa League finalists Arsenal have made three signings so far this summer.

Striker Gabriel Martinelli, 18, joined earlier in the window before a season-long loan deal for Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos was announced last week.

The signing of William Saliba from St Etienne was confirmed just hours after Ceballos but the 18-year-old France youth international will spend the next season back on loan at the Ligue 1 outfit.

PA Media

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