Saturday saw claims from France that Arsenal have submitted an €80m offer for Nicolas Pepe. This followed earlier claims from France that Inter Milan submitted a €60m offer and then increased that all the way to €90m.
The claims didn’t even get off the ground in Italy, they were hardly covered. And this is crucial because no country loves a transfer rumour more than Italy. Even if there’s a half-truth in something, especially something so exciting, it will be endlessly covered.
Yet, the Italian media know Inter don’t have €90m so they swerved it. The club are currently trying to find €60m down the back of the sofa (in multiples of €20m) to get Romelu Lukaku.
They couldn’t also come up with €90m for Pepe, likely even if they sell Mauro Icardi, and Conte wants Lukaku as his priority anyway.
Arsenal have a similar situation. Unless they’re going to send Gunnersaurus off on some sort of heist then they’re not getting the €90m ready. There’s been suggestions they could sell Alexandre Lacazette to Atletico Madrid, but these claims aren’t really making news in Atleti’s local media.
L’Equipe had the story in their Sunday newspaper, and it wasn’t credited to any journalist, which suggests there’s no great desire to own the claim. The player’s entourage have ‘confirmed’ the offer, and they continue to fish for PSG interest.
This is the club the Lille player ‘dreams’ of, yet they’re not biting yet. His lack of impact at the Africa Cup of Nations, where he didn’t get off the bench as Ivory Coast were eliminated by Algeria, isn’t helping.
But it’s not just Pepe who is the subject of Arsenal signing reports this weekend.
From Brazil come claims that Edu contacted Gilmar Veloz last Monday to ask about signing his client Everton, they want to know the ‘business conditions’ of a transfer.
That likely means how much, and in how many instalments.
Everton had a brilliant Copa America for Brazil and it’s thought he’d be available for around €40m. He’s known as Cebolinha in his home country, which the English speaking media have translated as ‘Little Onion’, but the nickname has nothing to do with food.
Cebolinha is a character of a Brazilian comic book series called Monica’s Gang. The English version translated the name to Jimmy Five.
Arsenal are now said to be considering an offer for the Gremio player. This was first reported by Globo Esporte, and then UOL Esporte added: ‘The interest of Arsenal was reported by globoesporte.com and confirmed to UOL Esporte’
These are two major Brazil sources, and it very much sounds like something has happened here. More so than offering €80m for Pepe.