Arsenal are ready to sanction a move for Lille forward, Nicolas Pepe, according to reports from The Metro. The Ivory Coast international has lit up Ligue 1 this season, scoring 8 goals and creating a further 5 in just 13 games and could be the subject of interest from top clubs in the Premier League.
It is believed that Arsenal and North London rivals, Tottenham are leading the queue for the player. The Gunners are ready to make a £27m move for Pepe as a replacement for Danny Welbeck, who suffered a nasty ankle injury in the Europa League against Sporting Lisbon a few weeks ago.
The former Manchester United forward is expected to miss the remainder of the campaign and then will be out of contract, with no talks scheduled to take place between the club and player. The Times also claim that Emery has given the Arsenal board the go-ahead to make a move for Pepe in the January transfer window, with the manager knowing all about him from his time in the French top flight.
Arsenal’s Director of Football, Rahul Sanllehi has hinted that Arsenal could make a move for a new player to replace Welbeck and said, ‘If there is a very good opportunity we are definitely going to consider, we will see.
‘Danny Welbeck’s injury alters, in a way, the views. It’s a good time to start analysing what options we have in the market. We are not closing the door but it’s still not the preferred one.
‘I am not saying that’s a green light to go to the market but we have good players in the house also that may get further opportunities, like Eddie Nketiah for example.’
Pepe is a classy attacking midfielder that can play anywhere across the front three and is known for his pace, creativity and clinical finishing.