Arsenal boss Unai Emery is reportedly having to rethink his transfer plans as the Gunners prepare to be without Danny Welbeck for the rest of the season.
Welbeck is due to have surgery over the weekend after suffering an horrific broken right ankle during Thursday’s Europa League game against Sporting Lisbon.
The Gunners medical team are still waiting for the results of an MRI scan and for the swelling around Welbeck’s injury to diminish before making a full diagnosis.
But they fear the England frontman could also have suffered ligament damage and the likelihood is that he will be out of action for between six and nine months.
In all likelihood, the 27-year-old could have played his final game for the club – as he is out of contract in the summer.
Welbeck’s injury leaves Emery short of attacking options and could mean the Spaniard steps up his £45million pursuit of Lille forward Nicolas Pepe in January.
The report in The Sun claims Emery had not been planning to make any new signings until the summer, but with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette as his only senior strikers, it means Arsenal will have to lean on teenage rookie Eddie Nketiah as a back-up option.
The club’s head of recruitment Sven Mislintat is said to have been keeping a close eye on Ivorian international Pepe, who has scored nine goals for French title contenders Lille this season.
However, we reported on Thursday that Manchester City were close to bringing Pepe to The Etihad, while Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund are also reportedly keen on the forward.
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