0112 GMT February 18, 2020
The Premier League club is ready to smash its transfer record to secure the 24-year-old on a five-year contract and lead Napoli in the race to buy him, although the Italian club will make a fresh bid, the Guardian reported.
Pépé scored 22 goals in the French league last season, second to Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappé, and provided 11 assists before joining the Ivory Coast squad for the recent Africa Cup of Nations. He was born in France and has also played for French side Angers and on loan at Orléans.
The signing of Pépé would break the club record £56 million Arsenal paid to get Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018.
This summer Arsenal has brought in the midfielder Dani Ceballos from Real Madrid on loan and two 18-year-olds in the forward Gabriel Martinelli and the defender William Saliba, who has been sent straight back to Saint-Étienne on loan for next season.