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EPL Transfer News

Arsenal beats Napoli to land Pepe from Lille


Arsenal showed great deftness in landing a deal for 24-year old Lille winger Nicolas Pepe who seemed destined for Napoli just a few days. The highly rated Ivorian took the French Ligue 1 by storm in the 2018-19 season, scoring 22 times and providing 11 assists, was on the radar of numerous European clubs. The Gunners’ acquisition of Pepe will cost them £72 million which they will pay in instalments to Lille thanks to their depleted finances. Arsenal have a considerably reduced budget having failed to qualify for the 2019-20 Champions League. Pepe, whose arrival at the Emirates follows those of Gabriel Martinelli, William Saliba and Dani Ceballos, will pocket wages of a cool £105,000 a week.

Real Madrid defender Jesus Vallejo has joined Wolverhampton Wanderers on a one-year loan deal which will see him play for the Wolves till 30 June 2020. Vallejo was part of the Spain side that won the Under-21 European Championship earlier this summer. The 22-year old centre-back had signed a six-year contract with Real Madrid in 2015 but had been immediately loaned out to Zaragoza and Eintracht Frankfurt in the seasons of 2015–2016 and 2016–2017.

Despite all the hue and cry at Old Trafford of a massive team overhaul, the Red Devils have managed to make only two acquisitions so far in the form of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James. The midfield is where United is looking to make some acquisitions. A veteran player in that space, Ander Herrera, has left Old Trafford to join Paris Saint-Germain after his contract with United expired. With not much time left for the transfer window to close, the issue of Paul Pogba seems nowhere close to resolution. The Red Devils meanwhile are making a move for Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn, but the Villa management are not willing to go off the 24-year old Scotsman for less than £50 million a price tag that seems unjustified given that McGinn has never played top-level football having spent most of his career in the Scottish Premiership and Championship. Aston Villa, too, is an English Football League Championship club which is a 2nd-tier competition of England.

Now that Arsenal’s pursuit for Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha has cooled off, Everton are gunning big time for the 26-year old Ivorian. Everton are planning to make a £60 million bid, but the South London club have set their valuation of Zaha at a lofty £80 million. The Ivory Coast international is understood to have informed Palace of his desire to leave Selhurst Park after returning from the African Cup of Nations and even move away from London, his city of preference. Zaha has scored 53 goals in 323 games for Palace spanning a period of 5 seasons but wants to prove himself at the highest level given his immense talent. Palace finished the 2018-19 season in the 12th spot while Everton finished 8th. Zaha personally wouldn’t mind a move to the Merseyside club given that the Toffees by virtue of finishing in the Top 8 of the Premier League have qualified themselves for the 2019-20 Europa League.

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