Spanish football journalist Guillem Balague has claimed that Arsenal have approached Lille over the possibility of signing winger Nicolas Pepe in January.

The North London side’s manager Unai Emery will forcibly be busy on the transfer market in January with the Spaniard wants a new forward following Danny Welbeck’s horror injury.

Welbeck has undergone double surgery after breaking his ankle and suffering severe ligament damage.

The England international picked up the injury during the Arsenal’s 0-0 draw with Sporting Lisbon at the Emirates in the Europa League group stage clash last week.

Emery remains only with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette as strikers.

And Balague has revealed that the Gunners will have to spend in January for a new forward.

The football expert has insisted that the Londoners have already approached Lille the Ivorian winger, who is now £43m-rated.

“He’s one of those players that have had a great start to the season,” Balague said of Pepe on his YouTube channel.

“He’s scored eight goals already, nine assists and he’s got a great ability with his left foot.

“He’s mostly left-footed, plays on the right-hand side but also on the left-hand side.

“It’s mostly from wide areas coming inside that makes him special and it’s what he does with the ball in small spaces that makes him special.

“That’s why Arsenal are looking into the possibility of signing him. Yes, they’ve approached Lille.”

“He cost about €15m (£13m) when he came from Angers, right now Lille will be asking for €50m (£43m).”

“I’m not sure he is that value yet but certainly he is on the way up.”

“How he scores is getting into the box and being found but he can also dribble and create by himself.”

“He’s a top, top player that I’m convinced he will come to the Premier League and he will score as well.”

“He has to shake up a little bit. Some of the excess driving with the ball that he does, the excessive dribbling that he does as well.”

“But he’s got such quick feet, fantastic player. Keep an eye on him, he will end up in the Premier League I’m sure.”

Pepe, 23, who joined Lille from Angers in 2017 signing a five-year contract, has since scored 21 goals in 49 appearances.

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