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Arsenal boss Unai Emery has reportedly told the club to sign Lille attacker Nicolas Pepe as he seeks attacking reinforcements, according to teamTalk.
The Gunners are ready to enter the transfer market in January as they look to replace Danny Welbeck who is sidelined for the rest of the season with a broken ankle injury he sustained in the Europa league clash against Sporting Lisbon.
They have considered options in the transfer market, with the likes of AS Roma’s Patrick Schick and Sevilla’s Wissam Ben Yedder being mentioned, but reports claim that Emery has asked the club to launch a bid for Pepe instead.
The Lille winger has been sensational this season scoring eight times and laying five assists so far and attracting a lot of European clubs, including the likes of Bayern Munich and Arsenal.
He currently has a £45 million release clause on his contract, a fee any club interested in signing him might have to cough up in full or at least something close.
The Gunners are already short in attack, with their only two remaining senior strikers Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang both withdrawing from international duty with knocks, further highlighting the need for quality backup.
Pepe has become one of the most exciting players in the Ligue One this season, with Lille boss Christophe Galtier comparing him to Aubameyang recently.
“Yes. I have already met a player like that during my career, some even, including Auba,” he said.
He also added that the club wants to keep him until at least the end of the season.
“Some clubs have contacted us directly after the transfer window to know what the state of play is,” he said.
“Nicolas has become an intransferable player. I know that the president wants to keep him all season, and Nicolas also wants to stay for the full season.”