Lille's Nicolas Pepe to join Arsenal for €80million

Lille president Gerard Lopez has confirmed Nicolas Pepe is on the brink of joining Arsenal in a deal worth an initial €80million.

Lille forward Nicolas Pepe   -  AFP

Arsenal is set to sign Lille forward Nicolas Pepe for €80million (£72.9m), according to Lille president Gerard Lopez.

Pepe hit 22 Ligue 1 goals last season as Lille finished second in the table behind Paris Saint-Germain.

PSG coach Thomas Tuchel made his admiration for the Ivory Coast forward clear, with Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Manchester United among the other major clubs linked with Pepe.

Carlo Ancelotti also confirmed the player was a target for Napoli, but the 24-year-old is instead set to become Arsenal's record signing.

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"I think it should be done in the next 24 hours," Lopez told RMC Sport. "It is €80m fixed, plus some other details.

"In talking with Nico and his agents, things focused on the certain clubs that we wanted to focus on, the two projects that interested the player."

Pepe will join an impressive forward line at Arsenal, who also boast Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and former Lyon star Alexandre Lacazette.

He will become the Gunners' third signing of the close season after Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos joined on loan and William Saliba chose Unai Emery's side over rivals Tottenham.

However, defender Saliba is set to stay on loan in Ligue 1 with Saint-Etienne for the 2019-20 season.

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