Arsenal have reportedly received a major boost in their chase for Lille winger Nicolas Pepe, as the Ligue 1 side are willing to listen to offers.
As per a report from Football.London, Arsenal have been handed a huge boost in their pursuit of Ivory Coast forward Nicolas Pepe, as the player’s current club Lille, are willing to sell their star man in the summer.
The 23-year-old Pepe’s star has been on the rise ever since he made the move to Lille from fellow French outfit Angers in the summer of 2017 in a €10 million deal, as per Transfermarkt.com. The forward enjoyed an impressive debut season, scoring 14 goals and setting up 5 more in 38 matches, but has taken his game to a whole new level this term.
Pepe, so far in 2018-19, has found the back of the net on 17 occasions and has assisted 11 more goals in just 28 matches in all competitions, emerging as one of the most prolific attackers across Europe. His exploits with the Ligue 1 outfit haven’t gone unnoticed with Arsenal emerging as potential suitors, along with and La Liga champions Barcelona.
Arsenal’s season under new manager Unai Emery has been a bit of a mixed bag. There have been highly impressive results – like the 2-0 win over Chelsea last month, while at times they have been utterly poor. The Gunners possess one of the most fearsome strike partnerships in England with Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The supporting squad of Alex Iwobi, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Mesut Ozil, however, have blown hot and cold over the course of the campaign. Add to it, the lack of a natural winger is something that has been a bit of an issue for Arsenal in the final third.
So, it makes sense that the North London outfit would take an interest in someone like Pepe, who would add that much-needed firepower on the flanks. The Ivory Coast international is perfectly capable of playing as a centre-forward too, as he has done a number of times this season, making him an enticing prospect for Arsenal.
And now, as per the report from Football.London, Arsenal have received a major boost in their pursuit of the 23-year-old Pepe as Lille are believed to be open to cashing in on their prized asset in the summer transfer window. These reports have been corroborated by the club’s sporting director Luis Campos, who hinted that a sale would be possible should the right offer come along.
“We are not a rich club,” Campos told Telefoot (h/t Football.London). “It means that if a really good proposal comes in for Pepe, we have to sell him.”
The report further adds that the Ligue 1 side are likely to demand a fee in the range of £50 million for Pepe. However, that figure could prove to be troublesome for Arsenal, given that they are operating on a tight budget and would be looking for a defensive reinforcement as well in the summer.
It remains to be seen if Arsenal step up their pursuit of Pepe, but given his quality, the Ivorian has the potential to be an excellent investment for the North Londoners.