Arsenal have reportedly made an enquiry for Marseille superstar Florian Thauvin, as they await the decision of Lille’s Ivorian attacker Nicolas Pepe.

As per a report from French outlet La Provence, Premier League heavyweights Arsenal have approached Ligue 1 outfit Marseille to enquire about the availability of winger Florian Thauvin. However, any move for the Frenchman is likely to depend on how the Gunners’ pursuit of Lille superstar Nicolas Pepe pans out.

Arsenal have been in the market for a wide forward all summer. Their chase seemed to have reached a satisfying conclusion this weekend when reports emerged that they had reached a £72 million agreement over the transfer of Nicolas Pepe from Lille.

However, Arsenal are still facing stiff competition to complete the signing of the Ivory Coast forward as Serie A giants Napoli have also reached an agreement over the transfer fee for Lille, along with two more clubs. Moreover, the likes of Manchester United and PSG are plotting a late hijack attempt, which could affect the Gunners’ chances of signing the 24-year-old.

Arsenal are believed to be locked in negotiations over personal terms with Pepe’s representatives and until an agreement is arrived at, the deal is not complete. And as per the report, the North Londoners seem to be having a contingency in place should the transfer not go through, by making an approach for Marseille’s Thauvin.

Arsenal identify Thauvin as a potential backup for Nicolas Pepe (Photo by SYLVAIN THOMAS/AFP/Getty Images)
Arsenal identify Thauvin as a potential backup for Nicolas Pepe (Photo by SYLVAIN THOMAS/AFP/Getty Images)

The 26-year-old has had a spell in the Premier League in the past, with Newcastle United which wasn’t a major success. However, since returning to France in 2016 Thauvin has managed to rediscover his best form and has been a consistent performer for Marseille.

Thauvin was part of the France national team that lifted the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Following that, the winger enjoyed quite a spectacular season with Marseille, finishing with 18 goals and 9 assists from 37 matches in all competitions.

Predominantly a right-sided winger, Thauvin can play anywhere in the final third of the pitch and despite his failed stint with Newcastle in the past, has the quality to become a solid addition to this Arsenal side. However, as mentioned above, any move from the Gunners’ part for the 26-year-old will happen only if the Pepe transfer falls through.

Thauvin is contracted with Marseille till 2021. The French international’s future has been a subject of much speculation this summer, as he is also courting interest from La Liga giants Valencia along with Arsenal. However, with the Gunners working hard to get Pepe’s transfer over the line, a deal for Thauvin this summer is unlikely to happen.

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