Transfer Talk: Arsenal can land Pepe on a 5-year, £72m payment plan

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Gunners given five years to pay Pepe price

Arsenal look set to complete the signing of Lille winger Nicholas Pepe in a matter of days, and reports in the Daily Mail claim Unai Emery’s side will pay just £20 million up front for the Ivorian in a deal heavily made up by installments.

The remaining £52m of the £72m fee will be paid in a series of chunks over a five-year period, meaning the Gunners will stay well within their £45m summer budget should the deal be completed.

The signing will be seen as an impressive coup for the north Londoners, considering their tight financial restraints, as well as major interest from the likes of Manchester United and Napoli — with the Italians holding meetings with the 24-year-old’s agent just last week.

The spending could be set to continue at the Emirates in the coming weeks, with Celtic defender Kieran Tierney still very much on the Arsenal transfer radar.

Inter step up Dzeko pursuit

Inter Milan remain firmly in the hunt for a new striker to spearhead their attack, and Calciomercato claims Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta met with his Roma counterpart today to discuss a potential deal for striker Edin Dzeko.

After their opening bid was rejected, the Nerazzurri have upped the ante with an offer of €13 million plus bonuses, which is still some distance from Roma’s €20m evaluation of the Bosnia international.

The Italian publication claims Antonio Conte’s side have already agreed terms with Dzeko on a 3-year contract worth €5.5m per season, but the expectation is that Inter may have to patient in their pursuit of the former Man City man.

Roma are in no hurry to sell, and are making tentative steps in the transfer market as they look for a potential replacement.

AC Milan set to complete double deal

The summer rebuild at AC Milan looks set to continue, with Lille’s Rafael Leao and Leo Duarte of Flamengo set to be the next faces through the San Siro doors, according to reports at Gazetta dello Sport.

Portugal Under-21 international Leao enjoyed a promising debut season in Ligue 1 after signing from Sporting Lisbon a year ago, with eight goals in 24 outings, and that form has attracted the attention of Milan bosses who are looking to build a fresh young side for new manager Marco Giampaolo.

The 20-year-old is expected to arrive in Italy imminently for a medical, and to put pen-to-paper on a five year deal for a fee of around €30 million.

Duarte, meanwhile, is set to arrive from the Brazilian Serie A for €10m, having featured 49 times for Flamengo in three years.

Tap Ins

– Crystal Palace are plotting a move for Newcastle United defender Ciaran Clark, according to reports in The Sun. The 29-year-old Republic of Ireland international could be available for around £5 million, with Eagles manager Roy Hodgson also considering a loan deal as he looks to bolster his central defensive options.

– Reports in AS claim Roma have entered the race to sign Real Madrid outcast Mariano Diaz. The 25-year-old has been told by Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane that he has no future at the club, and the Serie A side will go head-to-head with Monaco for the €20 million-rated Dominican.

– Liverpool teenager Ben Woodburn looks set for another loan move away from Anfield, with League One side Oxford United set to be the Welshman’s next temporary destination, according to the Daily Mail. Despite becoming the youngest scorer in the club’s history in 2016, Woodburn has failed to find his feet in the Reds’ first team.

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