Luis Campos, the sporting director at LOSC Lille, has named the price at which the club could sell star winger Nicolas Pepe, with the January window fast approaching.
Pepe has been linked with Arsenal by the media since the summer, but Lille are understandably hesitant to sell. The 23-year-old has 12 goals and seven assists in 19 league games this season, pushing his team up to second in the table, as it stands.
Nonetheless, Campos has confirmed that they would consider selling in January, for the right price. He told Telefoot: “For 80 million euros, we could sell him.”
Unfortunately, €80m (£72m) isn’t exactly a price you’d expect Arsenal to be able to afford. The club only spent £71.1m in the entire summer window, so to spend more than that on one player in January would be massively unexpected.
There’s also the question over whether the Ivory Coast international is even worth that much. Regular followers of Ligue 1 suggest that despite the winger’s impressive goal output this campaign, his overall game could use some work. Plus, his 12 goals don’t look quite so impressive when you discover five of them were penalties.
That’s not to say Pepe hasn’t had some real moments of quality this season, but right now it seems more likely than not he stays where he is until the summer.
Arsenal could use reinforcements in wide areas, but perhaps a better area of focus in January is the defence.
After Nacho Monreal’s injury over the weekend, with Shkodran Mustafi still out, along with Rob Holding and Konstantinos Mavropanos, the Gunners need to make a signing or two to avoid another six months of Granit Xhaka being forced out of midfield to fill in at the back.