OGC Nice set to sign Arsenal striker Nicolas Pepe

OGC Nice are close to signing Arsenal striker Nicolas Pepe on a season-long loan, according to L’Equipe.

According to the report, the 27-year-old is set to fly to France after the two clubs agreed on a direct loan deal with no option to buy.

Pepe started his career with Ligue 1 club Angers before joining LOSC Lille in 2017, where he established himself as one of the most exciting prospects to emerge from the French division.

His string of eye-catching performances for Lille saw Arsenal break the bank and pay a record £72million to secure his services in the summer of 2019.

Prior to that, the Ivory Coast international scored 23 goals and provided 12 assists in his final season at Stade Pierre-Mauroy, helping Les Dogues clinch second place in the league.

However, Pepe failed to replicate his Lille form for the north London side, scoring just 27 goals in 112 appearances in all competitions at the Emirates Stadium.

Although he has shown flashes of brilliance at times, he has struggled to get regular playing time as he often plays second fiddle to England international Bukayo Saka on the right flank.

Nicolas Pepe, who is yet to make a Premier League appearance this season, has now opted for a new challenge, moving to OGC Nice on a season-long loan as he seeks to breathe new life into his career stalled.

The 27-year-old is due for his medical on Thursday and will become the second former Arsenal player to move to the Allianz Riviera Stadium this summer, following Welshman Aaron Ramsey.

With Pepe’s imminent departure and a much lighter wage bill, Arsenal are set to return to the transfer market in search of attacking reinforcements.

Leicester City’s Youri Tielemans is a long-term target for the Gunners, who have also been linked with a sensational move for Wolverhampton Wanderers star Pedro Neto.

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