According to sources, Barcelona and Chelsea had previously shown interest in Nicolas Pepe but Arsenal are reportedly now in the front seat. It was earlier reported that Lille were adamant and opposed to the idea of selling one of their star performers. According to L’Equipe, Lille have recently changed their stance and are open to the idea of selling Pepe this winter.
Nicolas Pepe in Ligue 1 this season:
⛔️4 penalties won
Lovely player. Big move coming soon… pic.twitter.com/lCw0UzysXn
— FootballTalentScout (@FTalentScout) December 16, 2018
Since his debut for Lille in 2017, Pepe has registered 25 goals and 12 assists in the 54 matches he has played for them. This season he has been in remarkable form and his string of improvised performances have caught the attention of some of the biggest clubs in England.
The Ivory Coast International has generated interest from Tottenham, Chelsea, Arsenal and even Barcelona the biggest powerhouses of football in Europe. It is believed that Unai Emery is keen on completing his attacking quartet and is in search of a striker following Danny Welbeck’s grave ankle injury.
Ivorian winger, Nicolas Pépé who plays for Lille, has 12 goals and 7 assists in 18 appearances this season. Just what we need. Some reports from L’Équipe have stated that Lille will listen to offers upwards of €50m. pic.twitter.com/e5xHZ3IfyO
— ∞ (@afcnine) December 17, 2018
When asked about the Gunner’s plans once the winter transfer window opens, Emery replied
“We don’t have a lot of possibilities in January. It’s not easy. January is not good for transfers, but we are going to look. We are giving young players chances but we need a high level in the squad.”
The French side want a sum close to £45 million to let go of Nicolas Pepe. Once the market opens, Arsenal will have to act swiftly if they have to tie down Nicolas Pepe and with many clubs buzzing around it will be fascinating to see who wins the race to sign this Lille Star.
With the likes of Mesut Ozil, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alex Iwobi it would be interesting to see where Pepe would fit into the team.
Arsenal leading chase for Nicolas Pepe but lots of competition emerging. L’Equipe this morning suggest Lille will negotiate in January if a club opens bidding at €50m. But owner has previously stated he won’t sell mid season
— Matt Spiro (@mattspiro) December 17, 2018
Since the ex-PSG manager Unai Emery has taken charge at Arsenal, they have already spent close to £80 million on four players. They have had their 22 match unbeaten streak recently broken at the hands of Southampton. Arsenal fans have shown their concern with the lack of an out-to-out winger in the team and Nicolas Pepe might be the solution to that.
With just three points adrift the fourth position and 11 points away from table toppers Liverpool, the Spaniard has done a great job with his young squad. His performances in management will surely amass the board’s confidence in trusting him with the players he wants and would likely support him with funds to buy players like Pepe.