Premier League • England

Arsenal to match Nicolas Pepe fee when signing dominant midfield ace as selling club prepares to double earnings

Sofyan Amrabat and Amadou Onana

Arsenal could match their record transfer fee this summer after reportedly being told a prime midfield target will only be moving if his huge valuation is met.

Arsenal’s current record signing is Nicolas Pepe, whom they spent £72million on in August 2019. The winger arrived in England with a good reputation after shining for Lille, having scored 37 goals in 79 games for them.

However, Pepe could not replicate his Lille form in an Arsenal shirt and therefore struggled to get into the starting lineup at right wing ahead of Bukayo Saka.

Pepe is now back in France after being loaned to Nice for the campaign. The deal does not include a permanent option, although it is likely Arsenal will try to sell him this summer.

There is now talk of Arsenal potentially matching that £72m sum when landing a new midfielder in the next transfer window. Gunners supporters will certainly be hoping this transfer proves to be more effective than that of Pepe’s.

Football Insider have reiterated the fact Arsenal and Chelsea are both interested in Everton’s Amadou Onana. The 21-year-old has been one of Everton’s best performers during a poor campaign.

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He has previously been valued at £50m, but Football Insider report that his price tag has jumped massively. Arsenal and Chelsea have been told that he will only leave Goodison Park if a colossal £70m bid comes in.

Onana moving to Arsenal for £70m plus add-ons would see him become their most expensive capture alongside Pepe.

Everton want huge fee from Arsenal

Everton are hoping to more than double their money on the classy midfielder. They spent £33m on him last summer.

It is understandable that the Toffees are demanding so much for Onana. He has made a big impression on Sean Dyche, and keeping the Belgian will be vital if Everton are to move up the league table next season.

However, there is one factor which could see Onana move to Arsenal or Chelsea for far less than his £70m price tag.

Everton are in a relegation battle as they sit in 18th place, three points above bottom club Southampton. If Dyche fails to steer the team away from safety, then they will simply have to reduce their asking price for Onana.

Football Insider reveal that Everton have ‘accepted’ Onana will move on if they go down to the second tier. He has proven he is way too good to play at that level.

This is certainly a transfer chase to keep an eye on. Arsenal’s main target for the midfield area is West Ham’s Declan Rice. But if he proves to be too expensive, or ends up going to another club, then Onana could be the subject of a bid from Mikel Arteta’s side.

And Onana will relish the opportunity to play in the Champions League again with Arsenal, having done so at Lille last term.

Meanwhile, Monday’s Transfer Gossip includes Arsenal holding ‘strong interest’ in a Real Madrid player.