According to The Times (£), Arsenal are weighing up a January bid for Lille winger Nicolas Pépé with Raul Sanllehi confirming that Danny Welbeck’s long-term injury could force the club to change their plans for the upcoming transfer window.
The Gunners new head of football had intimated last month that Unai Emery would not be doing any significant business in the new year, however, with the pressure on to qualify for the Champions League it looks like finding back-up for Alex Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is now on the agenda.
With seven assists and eight goals in 13 appearances to his name this season, Pépé, an Ivory Coast international, has been linked with a big-money move to a host of top European clubs in recent weeks.
Whether he’s the man to add a new dimension to Emery’s attack remains to be seen; for the moment the backroom boys are weighing up their options. No doubt Sven has already put a cross on his checklist next to the ‘Played for Borussia Dortmund’ box.
“That is absolutely something unplanned,” Sanllehi said of Welbeck’s injury.
“Yes, that makes you consider things. 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.
“We need to see. We are in November so 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.
“The plans were made in the summer. We are happy with how things are going. We are always going to strive to be the best team we can be.
“If there is a very good opportunity, we are definitely going to consider (it), we will see. Danny Welbeck’s injury alters, in a way, the views.”
Given that Welbeck is out of contract at the end of the season, there’s been speculation that the club, while he faces the prospect of a long spell on the sidelines, could hand him a short-term deal. It’s something the BBC’s David Ornstein intimated could happen when he spoke to Blogs on a recent Arsecast.
Keeping his cards close to his chest, Sanllehi would only say on the matter, “He [Welbeck] knows he will get all of the support from the club.”