Arsenal break club transfer record to sign Pepe from Lille

Arsenal announced the signing of winger Nicolas Pepe from French side Lille on August 1, 2019 for a club-record fee reported to be 80 million euros. (AFP)
Updated 02 August 2019

Arsenal break club transfer record to sign Pepe from Lille

  • 24-year-old Ivory Coast international is moving to the Premier League
  • Pepe started out as a goalkeeper before reverting to being an outfield player

LONDON: Arsenal have broken their transfer record to sign winger Nicolas Pepe from Lille as the London club try to return to the Champions League.
The 24-year-old Ivory Coast international is moving to the Premier League in a transfer deal worth a reported 80 million euros ($89 million).
Pepe’s move, announced Thursday, eclipses the £55 million ($67 million) spent on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January 2018 as Arsenal add another attacking option to a squad that finished fifth last season.
Arsenal manager Unai Emery said: “Nicolas is a highly-rated and talented winger who was wanted by many of the top teams in Europe. Signing a top-class winger has been one of our key objectives in this transfer window and I’m delighted he’s joining. He will add pace, power and creativity, with the aim of bringing more goals to our team.”
Pepe started out as a goalkeeper before reverting to being an outfield player during his time with amateur side Poitiers.
A switch to Angers followed before he moved to Lille in 2017, scoring 35 league goals in his two seasons with last year’s runners-up in the French league.
Arsenal will be playing in the second-tier Europa League again after losing in that league’s final to rivals Chelsea and failing to finish in the Premier League’s top four.


Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince organizes flights to carry Al-Hilal fans to Japan for Champions League final

Updated 14 November 2019

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince organizes flights to carry Al-Hilal fans to Japan for Champions League final

  • Al-Hilal secured a 1-0 win over the Japanese club in the first leg on Saturday in Riyadh
  • The crown prince’s decision comes as a result of his support for Saudi Arabian football in the AFC championship

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has ordered four planes to transport Al-Hilal fans to Japan to support the club in their AFC Champions League final second leg match against the Urawa Red Diamonds.

Al-Hilal secured a 1-0 win over the Japanese club in the first leg on Saturday in Riyadh. The return leg is in Saitama, near Tokyo on Nov. 24.

The Saudi Press Agency said the crown prince’s decision comes as a result of his support for Saudi Arabian football in the AFC championship and to boost the morale of the team to seal the title.

The Saudi General Sport Authority have begun to coordinate with Al-Hilal’s administration to arrange for transporting fans to Japan.