Nicolas Pepe is expected to have a medical at Arsenal in the next few days after a deal was agreed with Lille, according to Sky sources.
The 24-year-old is set to become an Arsenal player this week and would be the Gunners’ fourth signing of the summer, following forward Gabriel Martinelli, midfielder Dani Ceballos, who joined on a season-long loan from Real Madrid, and defender William Saliba, who was signed from St Etienne for £27m and immediately loaned back to the Ligue 1 side.
Pepe scored 22 goals in Ligue 1 last season, second only to Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe, while also providing 11 assists, also the second most in the division, as Lille finished runners-up to PSG.
He was the first Lille player to score 20 league goals since Eden Hazard in the 2011-12 season.
‘It was reported earlier this summer that Arsenal’s budget was around £45m after missing out on qualifying for the Champions League. However, Pepe looks set to cost £72m plus add-ons, while they have also signed Dani Ceballos on loan and William Saliba for £27m, and are hoping to sign Kieran Tierney from Celtic.
‘Then there’s Zaha, who Arsenal tried to sign this summer, only to see a £40m bid rejected by Crystal Palace, who value him closer to £80m.
‘What’s really going on? We look at the key questions surrounding Arsenal’s move for Pepe and their transfer budget…’