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Arsenal Transfer Rumor: Emery interested in Lille’s Nicholas Pepe

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A young attacking winger? In JANUARY? My word.

FC Porto v Lille - Algarve Cup
Love the eye watering ... yellow? Green?
Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images

With most of our readership counting down the hours to one of the world’s greatest holidays in celebration of gluttony (seriously, all I want is Canada to tack on an extra day to catch up. Is that so hard?), there can be only one thing to discuss: TRANSFER RUMORS!!

Ah, yes, January. Cold. Frigid. The month were Arsenal title dreams start dying like birds in a deep freeze. The Winter Transfer window has often been a bit of a quiet time under Wenger, with last year’s additions the exception as they fought to extricate themselves from the souring contract of Alexis Sanchez and picked up Pierre Emmrick Aubameyang, finally, just a few seasons later than they should have. Before that, the biggest arrivals of note were the excellent signing of Nacho Monreal and the dash through the snow last minute arrival of Andrey Arshavin.

It’s unclear how the new management structure will treat it but as a Thanksgiving Treat, allow me to kick of the Winter Transfer Rumor Extravaganza with:

Nicholas Pepe.

Numerous reports have indicated that Arsenal are preparing a January swoop for Lille’s Ivorian winger after getting the green light from Unai Emery to do so. (How that supposedly works, I don’t know.) The 23-year-old is having himself quite the year, potting 8 goals and added 5 assists in 13 games in Ligue Un. Young, speedy and creative, the bid appears to be in the £27million range, but we all know how those things go.

Grain of salt and all that; it’s early.

Rual Sanllehi, Arsenal’s director of football, has made it known that Arsenal were looking to add to the squad, a move increasingly desired with the unfortunate long term injury to Danny Welbeck in the Europa League. Although, it was perhaps in the most cagey of ways:

‘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.

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.’

Oh. Well, then. Arsenal are definitely looking but also not looking for Danny Welbeck replacements. Perhaps things at the club haven’t changed much at all.