By 90Min
November 21, 2018

Arsenal are reportedly interested in signing Lille's Ivorian winger Nicolas Pépé in the January transfer window as a possible replacement for injured striker Danny Welbeck.

Welbeck's remainder of the season looks in jeopardy following the dislocation and breaking of his ankle in the Gunners' last Europa League encounter against Sporting at the Emirates.

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The north London outfit have wasted no time at potential alternatives, however, with Pépé identified as Unai Emery's firm favourite to deputise in the striker's absence.

According to The Metro, reports from The Times allege that Emery has given the club the go-ahead for the Pépé move in the winter window, despite previous speculation linking Roma's Patrik Schick to the Emirates.

It is uncertain whether Welbeck will return before the end of the season, but Arsenal's Director of Football Raul Sanllehi suggested that the club will assess their transfer options if the opportunities are too good to turn down.

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As quoted by The Metro, Sanllehi said: "If there is a very good opportunity we are definitely going to consider, we will see.

"Danny Welbeck’s injury alters, in a way, the views. It’s a good time to start analysing what options we have in the market. We are not closing the door but it’s still not the preferred one."

However, Sanllehi indicated that the Gunners may opt against bringing in a new replacement in the transfer window, implying that the north London side may choose to introduce some of their youth prospects, such as 19-year-old Eddie Nketiah.

"I am not saying that’s a green light to go to the market but we have good players in the house also that may get further opportunities, like Eddie Nketiah for example."


Ivory Coast international Pépé has already been involved in 15 goals in 13 league appearances this season, scoring eight and providing seven assists. His last strike came against Emery's former side Paris Saint-Germain, although it wasn't enough as the Parisians won 2-1 on the night.

Pépé is valued at £27m, but the Gunners could also face competition from their rivals Tottenham Hotspur for the Ivorian.

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