Arsenal beat Barcelona to sign centre-back

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Europe’s big guns are reportedly duking it out to sign a French superstar of the future.

Lille forward Nicolas Pepe has been turning heads with his displays in Ligue 1, with the club already turning down a 35m euro bid for his services.

But now Manchester United, Arsenal and Barcelona are all said to be ready to test Lille’s resolve with further bids.

Pepe earned rave reviews last season by scoring 13 times in 36 games, having signed a five-year contract in June 2017.

Lille owner Gerard Lopez said: “I want him to stay until the end of the season as a minimum,” he added. “We’ll certainly sell (players in January). We’re starting to have players who are not happy with their game time.

“If we can, we’re going to sell players who have good qualities but less game time. We’ve got five centre-backs, for example.”

Meanwhile Premier League giants are keeping close tabs on Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

Manchester City, Liverpool and Spurs were all present last Sunday to see the 23-year-old score in their 4-1 victory over Genoa, according to the Mirror .


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