Arsenal are reportedly ‘stepping up’ their pursuit of Nicolas Pepe after Danny Welbeck’s injury on Thursday night.
The S*n claim that Unai Emery is having to ‘rethink’ his January transfer plans after Danny Welbeck damaged his ankle so badly he is likely to undergo surgery this weekend under the care of the same doctor who previously operated on Jack Wilshere and Gareth Bale.
Arsenal were reportedly set to sit out the January transfer window as they look to restrict their spending, but early reports claim they could be forced to move given the severity of Welbeck’s injury.
Speaking just a few days ago, Nicolas Pepe admitted he is flattered to be linked with Arsenal even if he knew nothing about the rumours before the reporter asked him about them.
“A preference between Dortmund, Bayern or Arsenal? They’re all big clubs, I was not aware of these rumours, although it’s nice,” Pepe said when asked about the rumours.
“Leave Lille at the end of the season? We do not even know what I’ll be doing tomorrow!” he added.
Arsenal told Lille in August that they’re planning a January bid to sign 23-year-old Nicolas Pepe, according to a report in France, but now they’re facing increasing competition for the winger.
Le10Sport claimed Arsenal made it clear to the Ligue 1 side in August that they were planning to come back with an official bid in the January window for the right winger. There were various barriers to a move back then, including the Gunners restricted summer budget and, more importantly, the early Premier League deadline.
Since telling Lille of their interest though, Pepe has been on fire for his current side. He has eight goals and seven assists in 13 matches this season.
Now, there is plenty of interest coming in from elsewhere.
The media have linked FC Barcelona to a move in recent weeks and Bayern Munich are reportedly also ‘looking more and more closely’ at the situation.