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Sources: Arsenal have €80m Pepe bid accepted

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Arsenal are the frontrunners in the race to sign Lille winger Nicolas Pepe after becoming the fifth club to agree a fee of €80 million to be paid over five years with the Ligue 1 side, according to ESPN FC sources.

Sources have told ESPN FC that, as well as Arsenal, Napoli, Inter Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and Atletico Madrid have an agreement on the fee with Lille for Pepe.

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While the 24-year-old has not agreed personal terms with any of those clubs, sources have told ESPN FC Arsenal are the player's preferred option.

Arsenal have also been linked with a move for Pepe's Ivory Coast teammate Wilfried Zaha but were unable to agree a deal with Crystal Palace, who were holding out for a deal worth £70m.

Unai Emery has so far welcomed two new additions for next season in Brazilian teenager Gabriel Martinelli and Dani Ceballos, who joined on loan from Real Madrid.

Arsenal have also signed William Saliba from Saint Etienne, but have sent the defender back to the Ligue 1 on loan.

Pepe joined Lille from Angers in 2017 and enjoyed an impressive first campaign with the Ligue 1 side as he hit 13 goals, despite battling relegation for much of the season.

However, he exploded into life in the his second term as his 22 goals in Ligue 1 helped Lille finish runners-up to PSG.


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