By 90Min
December 24, 2018

In these last few weeks and months leading up to the opening of the January transfer market, Arsenal have increasingly been linked with a move for Lille winger Nicolas Pepe.

It now seems that if the Gunners want to snap up their target next month they will quite likely have to break their own transfer record. This comes following the news that the French club's sporting director Luis Campos has slapped an €80m (£72m) price tag on the exciting young talent. 

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Interest in the Ivory Coast international has risen following a strong start to the season with Pepe scoring 12 goals and grabbing five assists in Ligue 1 so far this season – only Kylian Mbappe has contributed to more goals. 

At first it seemed that a fee in the region of £40m might be enough, but now, speaking to Telefoot recently, Luis Campos insists the club want about double that figure.

The club's sporting directing said the 23-year-old was worth "€80m," and added: "But [any club] will also have to convince the player.’ 

For the most part it does seem as if Arsenal are the club to have registered the most interest in Pepe, with Unai Emery on the lookout for an attacking forward to add more width to his team. After spending so much time managing in the French league recently, Emery is believed to be well aware of the talents of Pepe - having played against him when in charge of PSG.

At the moment the Gunners lack a natural wide man in the squad with Danny Welbeck out injured for the season and the likes of Alex Iwobi, Pierre-Emerick AubameyangHenrikh Mkhitaryan and Mesut Ozil arguably all better suited to more central positions. 

But with Arsenal also in the lookout for a new centre back this January, is does seem as if a transfer fee of €80m may just price the Gunners out of making a move for Pepe - unless of course, they can persuade Lille to let him leave for a more reasonable fee. 

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