Arsenal manager Unai Emery has reportedly identified Lille forward Nicolas Pepe as Danny Welbeck replacement.

Welbeck has suffered a broken ankle injury early this month during the Gunners’ goalless draw against Sporting in their Europa League clash.

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The 27-year-old has seemingly played his last game for the North London side with his contract is due to expire at the end of this season.

Therefore, Arsenal boss Emery has been forced to change his transfer plans as The Times suggests that the Spaniard is considering January swoop for Ivorian winger Pepe.

The report continues to suggest that the Gunners will spend around £27m for the 23-year-old – who is currently high-rated in the French league.

Arsenal’s director of football Raul Sanllehi has revealed that Emery will be backed to bring in a new face if the right deal is available.

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Sanllehi said: “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.”

Pepe has scored eight goals and has provided five assists in Ligue 1 so far this season.

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