Arsenal news round-up: Monchi eyes Lille star, new contract for Englishman, £40m for defender

Arsenal will continue to pursue deal for Ligue 1 star wanted by former chief

Monchi will spearhead Premier League side Arsenal’s push to land LOSC Lille winger Nicolas Pepe this summer transfer window, according to reports.

The Gunners have reportedly reached an agreement with Spaniard, AS Roma’s current sporting director, and are lining the star up to join this summer.

Arsenal have been searching for a technical director after Sven Mislintat’s departure as their head of recruitment earlier in February.

Mislintat played an important role in identifying several targets throughout his time at the club, and according to the latest reports this month, Nicolas had been his preferred target for the Gunners’ problem area on the right wing of Unai Emery’s attack.

Football.London now report that the north Londoners have maintained their interest in Nicolas following Sven’s exit, and Monchi also favours a swoop for the 23-year-old star.

The Gunners face stiff competition for the Ivorian attacker, with Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain all weighing up a move at the end of the campaign.

Pepe, who has been one of the exceptionally good performers in Ligue 1 this campaign with 17 goals and 11 assists thus far, is reportedly valued by LOSC Lille at around €80 million (£69 million).

But the French club have also admitted that they could part ways with their key man this summer transfer window, providing they receive a suitable offer.

‘We are not a rich club,’ the club’s sporting director Luis Campos told Telefoot. ‘It means that if a really good proposal comes in for Pepe, we have to sell him.’

Arsenal planning to tie £40,000-a-week defender down to fresh contract

Arsenal are set to offer English star Rob Holding a new deal despite his long-term knee problem, according to the latest reports.

The 23-year-old defender is out for the rest of the season with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture sustained versus Manchester United in December.

But although Rob may not feature again until next season, Gunners bosses are interested in tying him down at the Emirates Stadium.

According to the Mirror, manager Unai Emery was impressed by Rob’s partnership with Sokratis at the beginning of the campaign and wants to reward the star with a new contract.

With club captain French defender Laurent Koscielny now 33, many see English player as his successor at the heart of the Gunners defence for many years.

Holding joined the North Londoners from Bolton in 2016 and penned an extension the previous summer to keep him at the Emirates Stadium until 2023.

He made 16 matches this campaign before the horror injury, winning 11 and drawing 5 as part of Arsenal’s 22-match unbeaten run.

He took to social media (Instagram) either side of 2019 to update followers and fans on his progress.

Most recently, Rob Holding, at the end of last month, posted a picture with his Arsenal teammate Danny Welbeck on exercise bikes at the gym.

Like Rob, Danny is expected to be out for the rest of the season after breaking his ankle in November.

However, unlike the centre-back, the striker is not expected to be offered a fresh contract at the club. And with his current contract expiring this summer, England international would become a free agent.

Arsenal reportedly lining up £40m offer for exciting Premier League full-back

Arsenal manager Unai Emery is interested in landing young Crystal Palace full-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka, with the Gunners ready to offer a fee in the region of £40 million for the 21-year-old versatile defender, the reports say.

According to a British tabloid newspaper The Sun, Spaniard is craving a defensive ace that can drive forward and Aaron is the sort of player the former Paris Saint-Germain coach wants to bring to the Emirates Stadium, as the player has the potential to become one of the best young English defenders in the latest times.

Aaron has featured in 28 matches for the Eagles this campaign and the England Under-21 international has quickly become one of Roy Hodgson’s favoured man as the club look to pull themselves away from a relegation zone, and it would be safe to say the manager will be prepared to lose the prized asset, who has grown immensely this term.

While the Gunners are set to unleash an offer for Wan-Bissaka it might be Manchester United who could enter the race for his services as they are desperate to sign the full-back, considering the current situation at the back.

The Red Devils have Portuguese star Diogo Dalot as a young defender, but beyond that it’s South American Antonio Valencia and England international Ashley Young that are often seen operating down the right flank, so Aaron would be a perfect fit for the club, who are sure to bolster their team in the coming months after the exit of Jose Mourinho.