January Move For Ivory Coast International?
Arsenal have made contact with the agent of Lille forward Nicolas Pepe. The Ivory Coast international only moved to Lille in the summer of 2017 when he signed a five-year contract with the Ligue 1 outfit. Prior to that he has been playing for lower-league side Angers and was linked with interest from Watford before he made the move to Lille.
According to French outlet Le 10 Sport Arsenal made contact with Pepe’s representatives in the final days of the French transfer window at the end of August. That was after Bundesliga side Schalke 04 had put in a bid of €20million (£18million) including bonuses.
But Lille told Schalke that Pepe would only leave for a fee of €30million (£27million).
Lyon were prepared to pay a fee closer to Lille’s valuation but Pepe wasn’t keen on the move.
The 23-year-old scored 13 goals in 36 Ligue 1 games last season (31 starts and five appearances off the bench) at an average of one for every 219 minutes on the pitch. He has scored one goal in four games so far this season.
Arsenal will continue to monitor Pepe over the coming months. It remains to be seen if they put in an offer in the January transfer market.