Arsenal are reportedly front runners in securing a move for Lille winger Nicolas Pepe. Sven Mislintat, the former recruitment head at the Gunners was an admirer of the player and reportedly told the club to sign Pepe coming summer. Roma’s current sporting director, Monchi is likely to replace Sven. And reports suggest Monchi is also keen to secure a move Pepe as he becomes the Transfer Director.
Mundo Deportivo | Arsenal are interested in signing Nicolas Pepe in the summer, with Lille prepared to sell the player to balance their books. There's already been reports in the French media during the January transfer window of Lille being in for possible Pepe replacements.
— LTArsenal™️ (@ltarsenal) February 9, 2019
Nicolas Pepe has been a sensation this season, as the Lille star leads his side in goals and assists. The Ivory Coast international has scored 16 goals along with 10 assists in Ligue One already this season. Pepe is leading goal scorer in Europe’s top 5 leagues only after Lionel Messi, Mbappe, Cristiano Ronaldo and Cavani. Pepe is just 23 years old, so has a long career in front of him and so would be looking to establish himself in a top club.
Lille have already said that they are a small club so won’t be to stop Pepe if a good offer arrives. The French Club value the Ivory Coast international at about €80 million (£69m). If any offer arrives at the club exceeding this sum, the club may be tempted to sell their prized asset.
Arsenal though won’t be able to sign the 23-year-old easily as many top clubs are also fancying a move for him. Reports suggest that fellow Premier League rivals Manchester United and Chelsea also are interested in the Ivory Coast player. Moreover, even Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain are also interested in him.
Arsenal Bound, Nicolas Pepe ??? pic.twitter.com/5wXdX7aiw2
— Cal (@GunmanLacazette) February 7, 2019
Arsenal are desperate for a wide man to operate at the right side as January signing of Denis Suarez from Barcelona seems to be out of favor for Unai Emery as he hasn’t been awarded a single Premier League start so far this season. The Gunners are struggling to find a goal scoring option in that position and Pepe may be the very player the North London side are looking for.
The winger is the main contributor and scorer for the team scoring 16 goals and assisting 10 in the league which means he has been involved in almost 62% of Lille’s goals in the league.
Lille boss Christophe Galtier teases media about Nicolas Pépé's next club: "I could very well see him playing for a team that wears red…" https://t.co/BF9E95eFWl
— Get French Football News (@GFFN) February 20, 2019
But it will be interesting to find if the Gunners break the bank for the young Nicolas Pepe and if they are able to beat other top clubs to his signature. Arsenal sit on 4th position in the Premier League, 1 point clear of Manchester United and 3 points clear of Chelsea who have a game in hand.