Arsenal step up move for £45m Nicolas Pepe

Danny Welbeck’s injury could see Arsenal forced into the transfer market in a bid to strengthen their attack in January.

Welbeck was carried off injured against Sporting on Thursday night, having impressed in the early part of the season, deputising for first choice pair Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in cup matches.

But with the England striker having suffered a suspected broken ankle, and only youngster Eddie Nketiah as back up to the club’s two most-expensive singings, The Sun reports that the Gunners may be propelled into moving for Lille hotshot Nicolas Pepe.

Pepe has enjoyed a stellar start to the season in France, racking up eight goals and a further seven assists in 12 Ligue 1 outings this term.

And that has seen scouts take notice and the player has been linked with Arsenal, Bayern Munich and Chelsea, amongst others.

Regarding speculation over his future, Pepe told Telefoot earlier this week: “A preference between Dortmund, Bayern or Arsenal? They’re all big clubs.

“I was not aware of these rumours, although it’s nice.

“Will I leave Lille at the end of the season? We do not even know what I’ll be doing tomorrow!”

The nine-cap Ivory Coast international has been labelled “intransferable” by coach Clement Gaultier, who insists he isn’t thinking of a sale when the winter transfer window opens in January.

With Welbeck injured however, could look to make a big money move?

It’s claimed Emery had not been looking to sign anyone in January, but that that may be set to change.