Arsenal are set to complete the signing of Nicolas Pepe from Lille in the forthcoming days after reaching an agreement over a club-record £72m package with the French outfit.
The winger was hardly on the club’s radar at the beginning of the month but a surprise sequence of events have meant that the Gunners have won the race to sign the 24-year-old ahead of their European rivals.
According to BBC Sport, the Gunners have managed to finalise a transfer deal with the Ligue 1 side and the sum will be settled in the form on instalments to suit the club’s limited budget for the summer.
It is added that the club need to sort out the commission fee with the player’s representatives but that remains a formality with the transfer due to be completed in the next 48 hours.
With Pepe, the Gunners will have another creative outlet in the attack and he should provide a genuine upgrade on Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alex Iwobi, who have struggled to impress in the final third.
Pepe, who bagged 23 goals and 12 assists for Lille last term, has been on a vacation over the past few weeks after his African Cup of Nations exploits with the Ivory Coast.
Arsenal have already made three purchases this summer. Gabriel Martinelli and William Saliba have joined on permanent deals but the latter has returned to Saint-Etienne for next term.
Dani Ceballos, on the other hand, has arrived from Real Madrid on a season-long loan agreement. The Gunners don’t have the option to buy at the end of the campaign.