• Transfers

Official: Arsenal complete €80m signing of Nicolas Pepe

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Arsenal have confirmed the signing of the highly-rated Nicolas Pepe from Lille OSC for a club-record deal of €80m.

Despite limited resources for the summer transfer window, Arsenal managed to table an €80m offer to sign Lille star Pepe. This new development came following alleged talks between manager Unai Emery and the club’s owners in America last month.

The Gunners have since welcomed Real Madrid’s Dani Ceballos on a season-long loan deal, Saint-Etienne defender William Saliba and now Pepe in the space of one week.

The Ivory Coast international, who was of interest to Liverpool, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Napoli, signed a five-year contract at the Emirates Stadium.

“Being here is very emotional because it has not been easy for me,” Pepe told Arsenal.com.

“I have come a long way and struggled a lot and so signing for this great club is a big reward. It was important to make the right decision and I am convinced that Arsenal is the right choice.

“When I knew I was coming to Arsenal, I immediately thought of the French guys who play here. “I thought of [Mesut] Ozil, the world champions, [Alexandre] Lacazette, [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang and many more.”

The reason why Pepe became one of Europe’s most-sought-after players was down to his stunning performances at Lille last season. He bagged 22 goals and 12 assists in 38 appearances to help Les Dogues finish runners-up in Ligue 1.

The 24-year-old’s versatility is another appealing aspect as he can operate down the right and left wings as well playing as a striker.

“Nicolas is a highly-rated and talented winger who was wanted by many of the top teams in Europe,” said Emery.

“Signing a top-class winger has been one of our key objectives in this transfer window and I’m delighted he’s joining.”

The 24-year-old will wear the number 19 jersey for his first campaign as a Gunner.