Arsenal target, Nicolas Pepe rejected Napoli for the Premier League side because he was attracted to the club’s “sporting project” as well as their offer.
The Ivory Coast international is expected to complete a move to the Emirates Stadium this week after the Gunners agreed a club-record £72m fee with Lille.
Pepe emerged Unai Emery’s alternative to Wilfried Zaha after Crystal Palace kept their player on high price list.
And it has been claimed that the forward was on the verge of completing a switch to Italy before he elected to make the move to north London.
“After turning down several clubs, Nicolas (Pepe) had the choice between Napoli and Arsenal,” a source close to the player reportedly told Ivorian publication Sport Mania via Metro .
“I won’t lie to you: a total agreement was almost reached with Napoli.
“But Arsenal’s offer was more convincing, both financially and in terms of the sporting project.”
Pepe was one of the star performers last season, scoring 22 goals and providing 11 assists as Lille finished runners-up in Ligue 1.
He is set to become Emery’s fourth summer signing, after the club finalised deals for Gabriel Martinelli, Dani Ceballos, and Saint-Etienne defender William Saliba.
And the Spaniard believes Pepe has the quality to “really improve the squad” as he continues to strengthen.
”Pepe is a very good player, and also we are thinking only [about] players who really, really improve the squad and also give us some different conditions to improve,” he said after Arsenal’s pre-season defeat against Lyon on Sunday.
“We are working in the last few weeks before the season starts with the first match against Newcastle to get the best team with the best players in our squad.”