London, Oct 3: Premier League giants Arsenal are keeping tabs on in-form Lille forward Nicolas Pepe, according to reports in Italy. The winger has enjoyed a blistering start to the Ligue 1 season scoring five goals in eight games.
Reports in England claim that his performances have alerted a host of clubs around Europe including the Gunners.
Everton are also monitoring his situation and ran the rule over the £30million-rated attacker when he bagged a hat-trick in the 3-2 win at Amines last month.
However, the Premier League will face stiff competition from Spain with Barcelona and Sevilla both showing huge interest in the Ivory Coast star.
Pepe joined Lille from Angers last year on a five-year deal.
Lille are desperate to hold onto their star man to who hit 13 goals in 36 league appearances last term.
Lyon had a bid of £26m rejected at the end of the summer transfer window.
Les Dogues boss Christophe Galtier wants to keep his squad together to avoid another relegation scrap after finishing a point above the drop zone last season.
And if Pepe can help his side have a successful campaign, the club top brass will expect his value to increase and spark a summer bidding war for his signature next summer.
Aged just 23, Pepe is blessed with a blistering pace and is a menace from the right flank.
The Ivorian is also capable of playing on the left flank as well as a centre-forward and would be a great addition to any side in Europe thanks to his versatility.
Arsenal definitely need more quality in their attack especially in the wide areas and a youngster like Pepe could add a lot to their side.
He has been instrumental in the turnaround in fortunes for Lille, who finished 17th last term, one place and one point above the relegation zone.
With Pepe's goals, however, Lille have risen up to second after eight games of this campaign, although they are eight points behind runaway leaders PSG.