One of the more long-winded sagas of the summer transfer window, Nicolas Pépé’s exit from Lille was the centre of a lot of attention.
A number of clubs were after his services, and it ended up being a battle between Napoli and Arsenal in the final stages, with the Gunners eventually acquiring the Ivory Coast international for a hefty £72m.
However, there was a point where the winger thought he was going to move to Italy, or, at least, that’s what agent/intermediary Mario Giuffredi said on Radio Marte on Tuesday.
Relayed by Corriere dello Sport, he said: “I was in Dimaro, convinced Napoli had got him. Unfortunately, however, other factors come into play and when we talk of commissions, Napoli are limited in certain operations. Then the agents have also made their interests”.
By that, he means those around Nicolas Pépé were asking for too much, and Arsenal were ready to meet the demands, while the Serie A club were not.
Instead of the now Arsenal player, Napoli ended up signing Hirving Lozano from PSV Eindhoven, which hasn’t gone that well, at least so far.
While Pépé has one goal and three assists in 10 appearances for the London side, the Mexican has just found the back of the net once in 12 games for the Italians.