Player faces decision as Arsenal take lead in race for £71m Man Utd target

Date published: Friday 26th July 2019 9:06

Arsenal are closing in on the signing of Lille star Nicolas Pepe a report claims, but so are Serie A giants Napoli.

The Ivory Coast international has been heavily linked with a number of clubs including Manchester United, Inter Milan and Liverpool.

Lille’s president, without naming the specific club, revealed on Tuesday that a deal is “almost done” for Pepe’s departure.

“Our work is done,” Lopez told La Voix du Nord.

“In terms of departures and arrivals: if a player leaves, we will go and get what we need.

“For Nico, it is almost done and he could have left last summer. It’s true that there are big offers and big clubs in for him, so I think… (he will leave). Aside from that, you never know in football.”

La Voix du Nord (via Sport Witness) claims that the Ligue 1 side have reached ‘global agreements’ with Manchester United, Inter Milan and Napoli over a potential transfer for Pepe.

However, Le10 Sport claims that race is between Arsenal and Napoli for Pepe’s signature with both clubs in the ‘final stretch’ to sign the 24-year-old.

The report adds that Manchester United and Inter Milan have fallen behind in the battle for Pepe and that Arsenal and Napoli are ahead.

Napoli are understood to have an advantage after the player’s agent flew to Naples for talks on Thursday, and it is now down to the player to choose between the clubs.

Sources close to Arsenal in the English media rubbished rumours of an €80m bid earlier in the summer.


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