What's the news?
According to BBC's David Ornstein, Nicolas Pepe has arrived in London for his medical with Arsenal and will sign a five-year contract with the club.
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The Ivory Coast international enjoyed a remarkable season for Lille, where he racked up 22 goals and 11 assists in Ligue 1. After a fruitful campaign at LOSC, Pepe attracted interest from a host of top teams across Europe, namely- Paris Saint-Germain, Liverpool, Napoli, and of course, Arsenal.
A few days ago, the Ivorian's agent and representatives had a meeting with Napoli to seal a move to the Italian giants. The deal was concluded, but Arsenal's late approach was enticing enough for Pepe to choose the London club over Gli Azzuri.
In the aftermath of Arsenal 2-1 defeat in a friendly against Lyon, Unai Emery addressed the rumours surrounding the 24-year-old by saying:
“We are working, the club, and also thinking about how we can improve. They have different players on the table with the possibility that we can achieve their signature.
“Pepe is a very good player, and also we are thinking only [about] players who really, really improve the squad and also give us some different conditions to improve. We are working in the last few weeks before the season starts with the first match against Newcastle to get the best team with the best players in our squad.”
The heart of the matter
Despite working with tight pockets this summer, Arsenal have managed to strike a sensational club-record deal worth €80m for Nicolas Pepe. The Londoners were able to reach consensus due to LOSC Lille's flexibility to receive the payment in instalments.
As David Ornstein suggests, Arsenal are well poised to make an official announcement regarding Pepe later this week. The player has arrived in London to undergo a medical process before signing a five-year contract.
The Gunners will make an upfront payment of €20m to the French club and will pay the remaining amount in equal instalments spread over the duration of five years.
With a move for Nicolas Pepe all but sealed, Arsenal are set to turn their attention towards Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney.Published 30 Jul 2019, 15:49 IST