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Arsenal to confirm Nicolas Pépé signing in record £72m deal

Nicolas Pépé scored 22 goals and assisted 11 in Ligue 1 with Lille last season. Photograph: François Lo Presti/AFP/Getty Images

Arsenal are preparing to announce Nicolas Pépé as their record signing after agreeing personal terms with the Lille forward on a five-year contract.

The fee will be €80m (£72m) plus add-ons for the Ivory Coast international. Once the final details are settled and a medical taken, Arsenal expect to confirm Pépé’s arrival.

Napoli were among other clubs who had hoped to buy the 24-year-old, who is left-footed but prefers to play on the right side of a front three.

Pépé scored 22 goals in the French league last season, second to Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappé, and provided 11 assists.

Arsenal’s record fee is the £56m paid to buy Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018.

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