Lille president says attacker Nicolas Pepe could leave the club this summer.
Lille president Gerard Lopez has claimed that Nicolas Pepe, who is targetted by Liverpool and Manchester United, could leave the club in this transfer window. The Ivorian has been linked with a host of clubs, but is yet to decide because of the AFCON commitments.
The 24-year-old is one of the most-wanted names after having an extraordinary season in the Ligue 1 with Lille. Pepe had contributed more than 50% of Lille goals last season in the league by scoring 23 and assisting 12. This has prompted the club to elevate their asking fee to €80 million, although no clubs are willing to splash that amount on the forward.
English media continue to deny interest in the forward because it was alleged that Liverpool had called Lille stating nil intentions over a transfer for Pepe. But, France media continue quoting that Pepe has been on the Reds’ radar as Jurgen Klopp wants him to play understudy to both Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.
Duncan Castles also confirmed about Solskjaer’s late interest on the 24-year-old, who sees him as a perfect right-winger to thrive in his attacking methodology.
Club’s president Lopez added more fuel to the speculations by divulging that the forward could leave the club this summer.
He said: “Our work is done. In terms of departures and arrivals, if a player leaves, we will go and get what we need.
“For Nico, it is almost done and he could have left last summer.
“It is true that there are big offers and big clubs in for him, so I think (he will leave). Aside from that, you never know in football.”
Less than a month ago, Sega Diallo, who is one of Africa’s reliable journalists, claimed that Nicolas Pepe has set his heart on an unnamed English club, but Bayern are also showing enough interest to lure him away.
Here’s how Twitter has reacted..
Dans le cœur de #Pépé la bataille du pays est gagné par l’Angleterre qui a la préférence du joueur sans plus de précisions. Le Bayern devra sortir le grand jeu pour le faire changer d’avis. Et la suite après la can
— sega diallo (@segadiallo) June 28, 2019
“Almost done.” https://t.co/IkthnSLBEE
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) July 22, 2019
BREAKING: Nicolas Pépé’s future will be announced very soon according to Gerard Lopez. pic.twitter.com/9R7EtvXDJW
— The Kopite (@TheKopiteOFF) July 22, 2019
— Duncan Castles (@DuncanCastles) July 21, 2019
The first bid has been tabled for Nicolas Pepe.
But it falls way short of Lille’s valuation.
— Liverpool FC News (@LivEchoLFC) July 22, 2019
Liverpool, who are looking to lift numerous minor trophies including UEFA Super Cup, Community Shield, and Club World Cup should possess a big squad to lessen the burden on some of the first team members this season. In addition, the underwhelming domestic cup competitions needs to improve. They believe that it would be boosted with the signing of Nicolas Pepe.