Arsenal fear they are about to be priced out of a move for Nicolas Pepe, one of their top targets, as some of Europe’s top clubs take an interest in the Lille star.
The Ivory Coast international has enjoyed an outstanding campaign, and Unai Emery and his scouts have been enamoured with him for over 12-months.
Pepe’s outstanding form, means a host of clubs are now chasing him – with Bayern Munich and Paris Saint Germain both paying close attention.
The issue for Arsenal is that they believed they could land the 23-year-old winger for around £40million, but now come this summer it could be nearly double that fee to land him.
Sources have confirmed to us that Arsenal are very much keen on landing Pepe, but admit the rival interest is a worry given the fees being talked about.
Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham are also monitoring Pepe, and Lille have already confirmed his future lies away from the club.
Lille president Gerard Lopez said: “Sure [Pepe will leave], he’s going to get into a price range, wages, etc. that LOSC will not be able to afford. So it’s clear that there’s a career choice for him too, after that, where will he go? We’ll see.
“We already have a list of three players who can replace Nicolas Pepe and who are in our price range. We have to have three players per position, three players we think are the best alternatives if our players leave.”
Bookmakers currently believe that Bayern Munich are most likely to land Pepe, with PaddyPower making them odds-on at 5/6, ahead of PSG at 11/2 and Arsenal at 8/1.