Arsenal have seen how their offseason suffered a major turn of events, as they are reportedly set to complete a deal for one of the most coveted players around Europe this summer. Even though they don’t have the biggest budget of all, the Gunners have apparently found a way to get a talented player after all.
After several reports suggested that a total of five clubs had already reached an agreement for Lille’s winger Nicolas Pepe, including Manchester United, Liverpool and Napoli, it’s Arsenal who have finally won the battle.
Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano reported that the North Londoners were actually leading the race for the 23-year-old, having handed their transfer and contract offer to Lille.
Those words were then backed by Arsenal transfer guru David Ornstein, with an agreement now confirmed to be in place and a deal set to be completed within the next 48 hours. Given that Arsenal didn’t count with more than €40 million for transfers this offseason, it’s interesting to see how they manage to persuade Lille to sell their talented winger.
Arsenal have reached an agreement with Lille to sign Ivory Coast winger Nicolas Pepe for ~€80m, paid by instalments to fit #AFC budget. 5yr deal, agent agreement still needed but set to be closed in next 24/48hrs. Napoli also have agreement with #LOSC but agent rejected proposal
— David Ornstein (@bbcsport_david) July 27, 2019
Ornstein indicated that Arsenal will pay €80 million overall for Pepe, but the fee won’t be paid completely upfront. Instead, it will be spread out over a number of installments. They also offered a 5-year contract to the player, which he hasn’t signed or agreed to yet. Nevertheless, with Napoli also placing an offer for Pepe, he doesn’t look so sure about that one.
With their interested in Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha frustrated, Arsenal turned their heads to Pepe, one of the best players in the Ligue 1 last season and one of the biggest surprises in European football.
It looks like the club’s hierarchy learned how to do magic, as they secured the likes of William Saliba, Dani Ceballos and now Nicolas Pepe with a budget that other teams would use to buy only one player.