Lille’s newest star Nicolas Pepe has embraced rumours that have linked him with a move to Arsenal next summer, but it is being reported that the Gunners will face competition from London rivals Chelsea and Premier League holders Manchester City
The 23-year-old has started off the current season with a bang, so far scoring eight goals and adding a further five assists to his name to guide Lille up to third place in the Ligue 1 table.
Stunningly, only PSG striker Kylian Mbappe (15) has been part of more goals across Europe’s top five leagues than Pepe (13) in 2018/19.
The Ivory Coast international’s superb run of form has obviously seen him being attached with a move to Europe’s elite including Arsenal, while German giants Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have are also said to be interested in him.
Pepe will easily command a fee of around £44 million, and RMC Sport has also claimed that Chelsea are coming up with their own move for the winger.
He has already rejected the possibility of exiting Lille in the January transfer window, as he wants to help his club make an entry into the Champions League next season, though he was more reciprocative to a switch come summer.
“A preference between Dortmund, Bayern or Arsenal? They’re all big clubs, I was not aware of these rumours, although it’s nice,” Pepe told Telefoot.
“Leave Lille at the end of the season? We do not even know what I’ll be doing tomorrow!”
Arsenal manager Unai Emery is apparently looking to bring in another attacker, and his club was heavily linked with Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele over the summer, and another Camp Nou player in Malcom has also been named, while Chelsea are also looking to add more firepower up top.
As is the case nowadays with transfers between the continent’s heavyweights and those lower in the pecking order, the former will eventually get their way, and in Pepe’s case, perhaps in the summer. His current form suggests they will have done smart business to sign the winger.