The Ivory Coast international appears headed to London, putting an end to a fierce race for his signature.

By 90Min
July 29, 2019

Lille winger Nicolas Pepe is due to undergo a medical at Arsenal this week as his €80m move nears completion. 

The gargantuan deal was reportedly agreed to on Saturday, with the Gunners seemingly beating Liverpool, Manchester United, Napoli and Inter to his signature by increasing their contractual offer and meeting the agent's demands regarding a compensation fee.

News of his impending medical comes courtesy of Sky Sports, who report that the 24-year-old will be seen in London this week - with the transfer officially confirmed following the completion of the assessment. 

It was initially reported that all of the aforementioned sides had reached an 'agreement in principle' with the Ivorian forward, but Arsenal and Napoli quickly emerged as the two frontrunners. The north London side's willingness to pay the agent appears to be what gave them the edge, as well as a number of bonuses for the player.

It is understood that the €80m fee will be paid out over various instalments, allowing the club to spread the cost in accordance with their well-documented (though not very affecting) 'meager' summer budget.

The Pepe transfer has come in lieu of the long-mooted move for Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha and, according to the Independent, this decision was made on the basis that Palace refused to budge on their insistence over an outright fee as opposed to an instalments-based one.

Another factor was Zaha's wage demands, with Pepe's prospective salary far easier to accommodate. This has left the 26-year-old fretting over his future, with his hopes of a move now seemingly resting on Everton, who recently saw a £55m bid rejected.

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