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Arsenal are reportedly in pole position to land Nicolas Pepe as Lille prepare to hold negotiations with potential suitors. Pepe has scored 25 goals in 54 Ligue 1 appearances since his Lille debut in 2017 and a string of impressive performances this season have caught the attention of Europe’s elite clubs. The 23-year-old is valued at around £45million and Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea, as well as Barcelona, are all interested ahead of the January transfer window
According to L’Equipe, Lille have recently changed their stance and are open to the idea of selling Pepe this winter. It’s claimed Arsenal are leading the race for the Ivory Coast international.
Unai Emery is scouring the market for attacking reinforcements following Danny Welbeck’s serious ankle injury and is particularly keen on Pepe. Recent reports suggest the Gunners are also weighing up a move for 22-year-old Boca Juniors winger Cristian Pavon. The Argentina international could be available for a fee of around £40m.
Arsenal are also on the lookout for a central defender in January after Rob Holding was ruled out for the season with a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Asked about Arsenal’s plans this winter at the weekend, Emery replied: ‘We don’t have a lot of possibilities in January. It’s not easy.