Arsenal are reportedly on the verge of closing a stunning deal to sign Lille star Nicolas Pepe in a structured €80m move.
The 24-year-old is coming off the back of a stellar campaign in which he bagged 23 goals and 12 assists in 41 appearances for the Ligue 1 side.
That in turn has attracted interest from elsewhere, and as noted in BBC Sport journalist David Ornstein’s tweet below, Arsenal have reached an agreement worth around €80m with Lille for Pepe, although it’s suggested that the deal is structured so the entire fee won’t be payable up front.
Further, he claims that a five-year contract is in place and so the only thing left to sort out before a deal can be completed this weekend is an agreement with the Lille star’s agent.
Should the final few details be approved, it is going to be quite the coup for the Gunners as despite not being in the Champions League this season coupled with their struggle to win major honours in recent years, they have managed to attract a top signing to the Emirates.
That in turn will be a major boost ahead of the new campaign as Pepe will add a different dynamic to their attack and complement the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette by offering width and creativity in the final third.
Nevertheless, the deal has not yet been officially announced and although Ornstein has proven to be extremely reliable over the years, particularly with regards to Arsenal news, the club’s faithful will wait to hear official confirmation first.
Further, La Gazzetta dello Sport reporter Nicolo Schira has since added in his tweet below that the five-year contract will be worth €6m-a-year plus bonuses, which surpassed Napoli’s offer and thus could have potentially been a key factor in convincing Pepe of a move to north London too.
As noted by the Metro, to add further context as to just how big a swoop this would be for Arsenal and a statement of their intent, both Liverpool and Man Utd had also been linked with Pepe, but it appears as though they are both set to miss out as Unai Emery hopes to add a crucial reinforcement.
Coupled with the arrival of Dani Ceballos on a season-long loan deal from Real Madrid, Arsenal are closing in on having a very positive week in the transfer market.
Arsenal have reached an agreement with Lille to sign Ivory Coast winger Nicolas Pepe for ~€80m, paid by instalments to fit #AFC budget. 5yr deal, agent agreement still needed but set to be closed in next 24/48hrs. Napoli also have agreement with #LOSC but agent rejected proposal
— David Ornstein (@bbcsport_david) July 27, 2019
#Arsenal will offer to Nicolas #Pepe a contract until 2024 by €6M a year plus bonuses. #Napoli have offered €4,5M + bonuses. #Gunners last january have already offered €50M to #Lille. Now Arsenal is closing the deal for €80M. #transfers #AFC https://t.co/9mLIfL4Bft
— Nicolò Schira (@NicoSchira) July 27, 2019