Arsenal enjoyed a busy transfer window this summer, bringing in the likes of Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Bernd Leno and Matteo Guendouzi. However, a report from France suggests that they may have failed in their attempts to lure Lille's Nicolas Pepe to the club.
The 23-year-old joined Lille in the summer of 2017, and emerged as one of the brightest prospects in Ligue 1. He netted 14 goals in all competitions last season, whilst also creating five more for his teammates. He has carried his exciting form over into this current season, contributing to four goals in as many games so far.
Arsenal's interest in Pepe was reported by French outlet L'Equipe, who were discussing Lille's impressive transfer window this summer. According to L'Equipe, Lille did well to keep Pepe at the club as various European clubs, including Arsenal, were keen to lure him away from the Stade Pierre-Mauroy.
Sevilla, Real Betis and Lyon were also named as interested parties, and the report even suggests that Pepe was the subject of a £31m bid this summer, but declines to mention from which team the offer came from.
Made a great start to the season and this hasn't gone unnoticed 🔥— Tom Randerson (@TomR_FI) September 5, 2018
Nicolas Pepe has a long list of admirers but the rumours are that Arsenal are now seriously looking to bring him to the #PremierLeague in January. Unai Emery is a fan 🔴⚪️#TomsTipOfTheDay #FootballINDEX pic.twitter.com/gTpnfiMDOP
Pepe is a versatile forward who is comfortable both as a winger and a striker, however his stronger performances have typically come on the right side of the attack.
Fans of English football may already be aware of Pepe, with various reports linking the Ivorian to Leicester City, Hull City and Newcastle United over the last few years, when Pepe was playing for Angers.
Arsenal have endured a challenging start to the Premier League season, with losses to both Manchester City and Chelsea casting doubts of Unai Emery's suitability to the position. However, wins against West Ham United and Cardiff City appear to have steadied the ship at Emirates Stadium.