Arsenal have been told that they would have to fork out at least €80 million if they want to sign Nicolas Pepe in the summer.
The Lille winger has been tearing defenses apart in Ligue 1 this season. His glorious form has deservedly earned him the admiration of a number of clubs around Europe. Arsenal are one of those clubs, and have been tracking him for quite a while now.
Unai Emery has been tracking him since his time at Paris Saint-Germain, but could now look to bring him to the Emirates. The 23-year-old would be a much needed addition to the squad. The Gunners are struggling with a lack of depth in the wide positions at the moment. With Danny Welbeck and Henrikh Mkhitaryan both suffering long-term injuries, it has left Arsenal incredibly short of options.
Alex Iwobi and Ainsley Maitland-Niles are the only proper wingers available to Emery at the moment. Mesut Özil, Aaron Ramsey and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have all tried to fill in as makeshift wingers to varying success. It goes without saying that it is Arsenal’s weakest area at the moment, and Emery will be looking to solve the issue immediately.
However, it will by no means be an easy task. With the inflated market in mind, wingers now cost a fortune. Small clubs are now aware that Euope’s elite clubs are willing to spend as much as it takes to get the best talent available. As a result, they have taken the chance to bump up their players’ values to astronomical figures. And Arsenal will certainly have to pay a fee in that region if they want to sign Pepe from Lille.
Speaking to Telefoot, Lille’s sporting director Luis Campos said:
“I hope he will stay this winter. We’ll do everything to keep him.
“All the top clubs in the world have their eyes on him, and that’s normal, but the president has been clear.
“The idea is for him to continue at the club.
“In contrast, with my experience in football, I would say that if a club arrives with a big number and can convince the player… I would sell him for €80 million.
“That’s the price tag, but you’d have to convince the player and he’s been a big part of us being in second place.”
Pepe has contributed a stunning 12 goals and 5 assists in just 19 Ligue 1 appearances so far this season. If Arsenal do agree to meet the €80m transfer fee, they could have a real talent on their hands.