Arsenal have reached an agreement with Lille to sign Nicolas Pepe for €80m, paid in instalments, according to the BBC’s David Ornstein.

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)

Ornstein reports that Arsenal have reached an €80m agreement with Lille to sign Pepe on a five-year contract, though they still need full agreement with the player’s agent.

That doesn’t appear to be a problem though, as the BBC journalist claims the deal is ‘set to be closed in next 24/48 hours’. Napoli reportedly also had an agreement with Lille, but it was rejected by the agent.

This is a complete turnaround from Ornstein’s previous reporting on the €80m bid, when he claimed BBC sources said Arsenal hadn’t submitted one and didn’t have the level of money being reported to do so.

Clearly, Arsenal found a way to make the bid work using an instalment structure, despite the restricted budget.

Pepe scored 23 goals and assisted 12 last season, as well as winning plenty of penalties. He’d add a big goal threat to Arsenal’s wide areas if the deal goes through. Fingers crossed.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.