Arsenal have every right to feel pleased for themselves after a report emerged detailing that the signing of Nicolas Pepe will cost them an initial investment of just £20million.
BBC Sport’s David Ornstein revealed that the Gunners had made a breakthrough in negotiations over the Ivory Coast forward, with a deal for around £72m expected to go through in the coming days.
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 also fuelled speculation the former Angers winger is set to arrive by liking a photographed picture showing Pepe in an Arsenal shirt on Instagram.
However, despite eventually costing £72m, the Gunners have somehow managed to agree a significantly-reduced fee to sign Pepe up front, with the Daily Mail reporting that Arsenal have talked the Ligue 1 side into accepting the remaining £52m in installments over the remaining five years.
Arsenal attempted a similar deal to sign Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace earlier this summer, with the Eagles, understandably, rejecting the approach and their efforts leading to accusations of “underhand tactics”.
However, it seems they have had much more joy in talking Lille into a similar deal, with reports on Tuesday claiming Pepe has arrived at Arsenal’s London Colney training base to undergo his medical, which, should he pass, will then see the Ivorian put pen to paper on a five-year deal worth around £130,000 a week.
The initial £20m outlay means Arsenal will have more money to spend this summer amid claims the Gunners could yet enjoy more transfer window success before the window slams shut.
The Mail claims Unai Emery’s side are still hopeful of concluding a £25m deal for Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney, while they could yet land a new central defender should they offload both Shkodran Mustafi – on Tuesday linked with a move to Monaco – and Krystian Bielik, who has been valued at £10m.
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