Arsenal agree £72m fee with Lille for Nicolas Pepe, The pacy, left-footed winger proved he also has plenty of end product last season, scoring 22 times in Ligue 1 and racking up 11 assists as Lille finished second in the table behind Paris St-Germain.
While nine of those goals came from the penalty spot, Pepe’s trademark finish has become a left-foot finish after cutting in from the right wing.
‘The highlight of Pepe’s season may well have been his goal and two assists in the 5-1 demolition of PSG in April and only PSG’s Kylian Mbappe (33 goals) scored more than the Lille ace during that campaign.’
Lille president Gerard Lopez confirmed on Friday Napoli had agreed a deal for the 24-year-old winger, but Arsenal appear to have trumped the Italian side by offering superior terms.
Napoli were willing to pay Pepe £3.6m per year, but with the Ivory Coast international seeking a £4.5m annual salary, Arsenal have made a stronger offer.
Lopez, the Lille president, was quoted saying on Saturday: “We’ve had interest from three UK clubs along with clubs from Spain and a number in Italy.
“We do have relationships with a good few of those clubs where we feel the player would be best suited and we offer our advice, however we can’t do anything if the player doesn’t want to go, so it’s now the player’s decision.”
Arsenal’s focus had been on signing Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha for a similar fee, but Lille’s willingness to receive a lower fee upfront with the rest in instalments makes a move for Pepe more financially viable.
Hi! My name is Emmanuel "infoafrik". I'm a freelance, content writer and former editor at SportsCrust. I love music, traveling, group discussion and making friends. You can reach me on Email: iDomonic@inafricatoday