Arsenal transfer news: Unai Emery provides update on Nicolas Pepe deal from Lille

Arsenal had a club-record offer accepted by Lille over the weekend and are now in advanced talks with the Ivory Coast international

Luke Brown@lukedbrown
Monday 29 July 2019 08:32
Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette leaves Emirates Stadium in protective boot

Arsenal manager Unai Emery has praised Lille winger Nicolas Pepe as a player who would “really, really improve” his squad, as the club continue to work to finalise a record £72m move.

Arsenal had a club-record offer accepted by Lille over the weekend and are now in advanced talks with the Ivory Coast international.

And after Arsenal’s 2-1 Emirates Cup defeat by Lyon, Emery confirmed that he is a huge fan of the 24-year-old, while also admitting the club are continuing to work behind the scenes on other deals.

“We are working with the club, and also thinking how we can improve,” Emery said.

“They have different players on the table with the possibility we can achieve their signature. Pepe is a very good player, and also we are thinking only players who really, really improve this squad, and also give us some different conditions for improve.

“We are working for the last few weeks and before the season starts, the first match in Newcastle, to get the best team with the best players in our squad.”

Arsenal will be even more determined to complete the signing of Pepe ahead of the first match of the season after Alexandre Lacazette injured his ankle in the loss to Lyon.

The Gunners lost 2-1 to Lyon as a Moussa Dembele double cancelled out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's opener.

But more concerning was the sight of Lacazette leaving the Emirates Stadium wearing a protective boot. The Frenchman was Arsenal’s player of the season last year, scoring 19 goals in 49 appearances in all competitions.

“It's in his ankle,” Emery later said of Lacazette's injury.

“He will probably be assessed over the next few days - but it's not serious. We are thinking it's not important, he decided with the doctor and with me that it is better to take no more risk.

“He tried to continue playing but I think it was better in the pre-season to take patience.

“The doctor said to me he is going to check tomorrow but the thinking is that it is not important.”

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