Arsenal have joined Lyon, Sevilla and Real Betis in following 23-year-old Lille winger Nicolas Pepe, according to reports in France.
L’Equipe claim all four clubs are monitoring the Ivory Coast international ahead of a potential January move. One of the four reportedly made a £31m bid over the summer, but the French outlet don’t say which one, and clearly it was unsuccessful.
That’s likely partly because Pepe still has such a long contract remaining with his current club. He signed a new five-year deal in June 2017, so he’s still got the best part of four years left on it.
The winger is also in good form for the French side, so they’re unlikely to want to let him go without being well compensated. Pepe has one goal and three assists in his first four matches of the season in Ligue 1.
In 2017/18, the Lille man scored 14 goals and assisted five in 38 appearances, also very respectable totals. Particularly when you consider 11 of those goal contributions came in the club’s final 14 games. He was clearly only getting better as the campaign went on.
For his country, Pepe is yet to have quite the same impact, but three goals in eight games is a very good start. If he continues to impress as the season goes on, with Arsenal still lacking a natural winger, a transfer could well become an option in January.