Arsenal’s £72m record-signing to acquire Lilly’s Nicolas Pepe
Nicolas Pepe, a professional footballer who plays as a winger for Ligue 1 club Lille and the Ivory Coast national team is all set to join the Gunners. They 24 year old, had a remarkable season for Lille. He scored 22 goals with 11 assists for the club in the last season. His contributions helped the team finish second in Ligue 1 to qualify for the Champions League. The outstanding season which he had with Lille attracted top clubs across Europe particularly Paris Saint-Germain, Liverpool, Napoli, and Arsenal.
The Gunners have been in talks with Pepe’s representatives over a period of 48 hours. As they agree on a £72 million deal with Lille. After the medical, there will be signing for a 5 year contract. The official announcement is certain in a week’s time.
As per BBC’s David Ornstein, Arsenal will make the announcement later this week on Pepe’s transfer to the club. The winger has arrived in London & will undergo a medical today before signing a five-year contract at the Emirates. The new contract will see earn him around £150,000 per week. Arsenal, therefore, look to play him in the opening Premier League fixture at Newcastle on August 11. His debut is not certain yet, but the Arsenal fans are all in for the treat as the 24 year old forward join the club with the record signing.
Arsenal had a tight budget to spend this summer, but Pepe has made them go deep. Arsenal will be paying Lille around £20m which is about 28 percent of the overall fee up-front. The remaining amount will be payed in instalments over the course of the five-year contract.
The new signing of the Ivorian International will certainly strengthen the Arsenal’s attack. The North London also have targets to strengthen the squad this summer and this signing is probably the first step in doing that. The Gunners had a sort of humiliating campaign in the Premier league after finishing fifth. As they also failed to qualify for the next edition of the Champions league, this expensive move makes a bit of sense.