Arsenal are confident that they can wrap up the signing of Nicolas Pepe from Lille despite interest from Napoli, one reporter claims.
BBC Sport’s David Ornstein revealed that the Gunners had made a breakthrough in negotiations over the Ivory Coast forward, though it has been claimed that up to five clubs thought to have either agreed a fee with Lille or expressed a strong interest in doing so.
Napoli are known to be among them after Carlo Ancelotti confirmed as such, with a fresh offer to potentially be made, but Sky Sports’ David Reed believes Arsenal have the edge.
“Pepe is due back from his holiday today after competing at the Africa Cup of Nations and Lille then expect him to make a decision on his future,” Reed said.
“Arsenal and Napoli both have agreements in place with Lille for a deal that could be worth around £72m.
“Arsenal are confident of getting this one done and the terms they have offered are thought to be superior to those from Napoli.
“There was a slight twist over the weekend, we were told PSG might come in with a last minute approach, but we are told that Arsenal are the frontrunners alongside Napoli for this deal.”
The Ivorian netted 23 goals in 41 appearances last season and Pepe admitted earlier this year that he was open to a move away from the Ligue 1 club.
Arsenal duo Granit Xhaka and Emile Smith-Rowe have fuelled speculation the former Angers winger is set to arrive by liking a photographed picture showing Pepe in an Arsenal shirt on Instagram.
A report from The Sun goes on to add that the Gunners want to officially unveil him on Tuesday or Wednesday.
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