One of Arsenal’s primary targets for this summer’s transfer window has revealed his wage demands ahead of a potential move to north London.
According to Mirror Football via French publication L’Equipe, the representatives of Lille star Nicolas Pepe have demanded that the Ivorian earns more than €8m (£7.2m) a year at his next club. A salary of £7.2m a year would see the ace earn between £135,000 and £140,000-a-week.
According to Sky Italia, Arsenal are leading the intense race to sign the in-demand attacker. Sky Italia reported that the Gunners moved ahead of Italian giants Napoli after they offered a more lucrative amount to Pepe’s agents.
Napoli offered a reported €3.5m agent fee and a €500,000 bonus, the Gunners’ proposal is thought to be closer to the agents’ demands of €5m for their services.
Arsenal are on the brink of beating several of their rivals to a major signing, as per L’Equipe’s report, Liverpool, Inter Milan and Napoli also agreed €80m (£72m) deals with Lille for the 24-year-old.
L’Equipe believe that the Gunners won’t have any problems in matching Pepe’s wage demands, the report highlights that a deal for the versatile attacker could be completed in a matter of days.
Arsenal have been without Champions League football for some time now but Pepe’s signature could fire the Gunners into contention for a top four spot next season.
Pepe’s sensational performances for Lille catapulted the French side to a surprise second-placed finish in Ligue 1 last season, Pepe scored 22 league goals and provided 11 assists to his teammates last year.
Unai Emery is on the hunt for a player of Pepe’s style this summer, the Gunners are in desperate need of adding a quality wide player to their ranks ahead of next season.
Academy graduates Alex Iwobi and Reiss Nelson are the club’s only natural wingers with first-team experience.
Pepe largely plays on the right wing, but the star’s versatility has also seen him flourish in a central attacking role. The Ivorian’s ability to play across different attacking positions could be massive for Arsenal.
Emery will also need to add a experienced backup striker this summer following the departure of Danny Welbeck. Should superstars Alexandre Lacazette or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang suffer from an injury, Emery will be forced to call on an academy star to provide the cutting edge in attack.