When Nicolas Pepe was valued at £50m it seemed unlikely Arsenal were seriously interested in him at that price and he’s now apparently worth £72m.

Lille's Ivorian forward Nicolas Pepe celebrates after scoring a goal during the French Cup round of 16 football match between Rennes and Lille on February 6, 2019 at the Roazhon Park in Rennes, northwestern France. (Photo by JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER / AFP)
Lille’s Ivorian forward Nicolas Pepe celebrates after scoring a goal during the French Cup round of 16 football match between Rennes and Lille on February 6, 2019 at the Roazhon Park in Rennes, northwestern France. (Photo by JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER / AFP)

Just a day or two ago it was claimed that Lille wanted something over £50m before they’d sell their star winger and you have to admit, £72m is certainly that.

Lille, it seems, are resigned to losing Pepe in the summer window after holding on to him in January. They’ve been looking around for replacements, with Krzysztof Piatek and Luka Jovic amongst those being linked.

None of it seems like it will matter to Arsenal anyway as Bayern Munich get involved. Despite Ivan Gazidis claiming, mid-austerity, that the goal of all that belt-tightening was to allow us to compete with sides like Bayern Munich, we just can’t.

If they want a player, we won’t get him. It’s that simple.

And they want Pepe, apparently.

The other main side linked with his signature? Barcelona.

Lille need to sell according to Mundo Deportivo in order to balance their books so a bargain might be available but that seems unlikely when you have such big hitters in the mix.

Mundo Deportivo 9 February 2019

What all this means is that it is incredibly unlikely Arsenal will be able to complete any sort of deal for the 23-year-old.

That is also unlikely to stop us being linked every week until he finally moves, however.