Arsenal in ‘final stretch’ despite Man Utd ‘agreement’

Joe Williams
Nicolas Pepe Lille

Premier League side Arsenal are leading the pack in the race to sign Lille forward Nicolas Pepe, according to a reports.

The Ivory Coast international has been heavily linked with a number of clubs including Manchester United, Inter Milan and Liverpool.

Lille’s president, without naming the specific club, revealed on Tuesday that a deal is “almost done” for Pepe’s departure.

“Our work is done,” Lopez told La Voix du Nord.

“In terms of departures and arrivals: if a player leaves, we will go and get what we need.

“For Nico, it is almost done and he could have left last summer. It’s true that there are big offers and big clubs in for him, so I think… (he will leave). Aside from that, you never know in football.”

La Voix du Nord (via Sport Witness) claims that the Ligue 1 side have reached ‘global agreements’ with Man United, Inter Milan and Napoli over a potential transfer for Pepe.

However, Le10 Sport claims that race is between Arsenal and Napoli for Pepe’s signature with both clubs in the ‘final stretch’ to sign the 24-year-old.

The report adds that Manchester United and Inter Milan have fallen behind in the battle for Pepe and that Arsenal and Napoli are ahead.

Napoli are understood to have a advantage and it is now down to the player to choose between the clubs.

Sources close to Arsenal in the English media rubbished rumours of an €80m bid earlier in the summer.