Arsenal manager Unai Emery is looking to strengthen several areas of his squad this summer and has been linked with a move for Lille star Nicolas Pepe.

The 24-year-old’s performances for the Ligue 1 club has attracted interest across Europe, with several Premier League clubs lining up to try and entice the forward away from France.

Pepe scored 23 goals in 45 games for Lille as they finished second in the league last season.

And according to French publication TF1, Arsenal have submitted an €80million (£72m) bid for the Ivory Coast international.

For him the most important thing is to be wanted and to go to a good club in which he will play and continue to progress

Samir Khiat

Pepe had been away on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations, however, following their recent defeat in the quarter-finals to Algeria on penalties, his future at the club is now expected to resolved when he returns for pre-season training in the next few weeks.

Arsenal are among several Premier League clubs interested in the player, with Manchester United, Liverpool and Everton also monitoring Pepe’s situation with Lille.

But all the teams will no doubt be analysing the recent comments from Pepe’s agent Samir Khiat.

He suggested the player is “open to everything” but did also name one Ligue 1 club as a possible destination.

Arsenal transfer news: Nicolas Pepe

Arsenal transfer news: Gunners have reportedly submitted a £72m bid for Nicolas Pepe (Image: GETTY)

Arsenal transfer news: Nicolas Pepe

Arsenal transfer news: Nicolas Pepe scored 23 goals in 45 games for Lille (Image: GETTY)

“The aim is for him to sign in the right place. PSG is a possibility,” Khiat told French TV show L’Equipe Mercato.

“Today, all parties need to reach an agreement. There are exchanges and discussions.

“He is wanted by a considerable number of clubs.

“For him the most important thing is to be wanted and to go to a good club in which he will play and continue to progress.”

PSG have yet to make a formal bid for Pepe, but if Neymar leaves the Ligue 1 champions for Barcelona, finding the money for this deal probably won’t be a problem.

Arsenal transfer news: Nicolas Pepe

Arsenal transfer news: PSG is also a possible destination for Nicolas Pepe (Image: GETTY)

Arsenal transfer news: Nicolas Pepe

Arsenal transfer news: Nicolas Pepe’s agent insists the player is wanted by a number of clubs (Image: GETTY)

Although Emery is reportedly working with a limited transfer budget of £45m this summer, reports have suggested the club’s hierarchy is ready to make more money available to fund a marquee signing.

In other Gunners’ transfer news they could face losing out on another summer target William Saliba.

Although the 18-year-old was expected to sign for Arsenal in the near future as part of a €30m (£27m) deal, which would see Saliba loaned back to the Ligue 1 club for next season, rivals Tottenham have also submitted a last minute bid for Saint-Etienne defender.

It is understood that Spurs have offered the same amount as their north London neighbours but with better add-ons.


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