Arsenal will reportedly announce the signing of Nicolas Pepe in the next 24 hours, according to Lille president Gerard Lopez.
As noted by BBC Sport, the Gunners are said to be closing in on the £72m signing of the 24-year-old after he enjoyed a stellar campaign in France last season.
Pepe bagged 23 goals and 12 assists in 41 appearances to emerge as a real star in Ligue 1, and it appears as though it was more than enough to convince Arsenal to spend big to take him to England.
Unai Emery has already seen Gabriel Martinelli arrive, while William Saliba was signed from Saint Etienne before being loaned back out and Dani Ceballos has joined Arsenal on a season-long loan deal from Real Madrid.
In turn, they’ve been relatively busy this summer adding both short term and long term reinforcements to Emery’s squad to ensure that they bounce back from last year’s disappointment of failing to qualify for the Champions League, but it has now been suggested by Lopez that Pepe is set to join the Gunners imminently.
“He is the one who made the decision, I think it should be (confirmed) in the next 24 hours,” he is quoted as saying by talkSPORT. “It is 80m euro fixed. If we pushed this deal out a little bit longer, we could have had five or six offers of the same nature.
“In talking with Nicolas and his agents, the discussion centred on a few clubs so we preferred to focus on the projects that interested the player.”
That will be music to the ears of Arsenal fans, as ultimately Pepe is expected to play a crucial role in offering a new dynamic in the Gunners attack moving forward.
With the ability to provide width and pace, his arrival will surely allow the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette to play more centrally.
Further, with Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan also preferring to play through the middle, Pepe will complement them all well as he looks set to be announced as an Arsenal player any time now with the new Premier League campaign edging ever closer.