Arsenal & Liverpool have £71.6m bids accepted for 23-goal star, Man Utd also keen
Arsenal and Liverpool are among four clubs who’ve agreed £71.6m deals with Lille to sign Manchester United target Nicolas Pepe this summer
We’re now at the business end of the summer transfer window and managers are working hard trying to strengthen their squads so we’ll bring you all the latest news and gossip from around the globe. Here, the race for Nicolas Pepe is hotting up…
Pepe has been one of the most in-demand players of the transfer window after enjoying a superb campaign last season that saw him score 23 goals and provide a further 12 assists to help Lille finish second in the Ligue 1 table.
The 24-year-old’s sensational form has caught the attention of clubs throughout Europe and L’Equipe, via GFFN, claims Arsenal, Liverpool, Napoli and Inter Milan have all had bids worth £71.6m [€80m] accepted by Lille.
The respected French outlet says other clubs such as Atletico Madrid and Manchester United have also indicated they are willing to match the asking price for Pepe but they need to sell first before they can commit to a deal.
The news comes after Lille president Gerard Lopez confirmed that four clubs – including Napoli – have met their demands and the Ivory Coast international is expected to make a decision once he returns to pre-season training next week.
Lopez is quoted as saying by the Evening Standard:
“We received offers that satisfy us economically from four big clubs. [Napoli chairman Aurelio] De Laurentiis has satisfied our request for €80m. Now it is up to the player to decide where he wants to go.
“He must make that decision based on the offers that his agents have received from the four clubs. On Monday, Pepe will return from vacation and I believe that by the middle of the week he will have made a decision.”
United are reportedly in talks with Inter Milan over the sale of Romelu Lukaku so it appears they will formalise their interest in Pepe if a deal can be agreed for the Belgian international striker over the coming days.
However, as it stands it’s Arsenal and Liverpool who are among the leading contenders and L’Equipe says Lille boss Christophe Galtier has spoken with Pepe and urged him to make a decision over which club he wants to join.
Unai Emery is looking to add a wide forward to his ranks this summer and it looks like Arsenal are eyeing Pepe as an alternative to Wilfried Zaha after struggling to agree terms with Crystal Palace.
Jurgen Klopp has also been tipped to bring in a versatile forward to compete with the likes of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane next season as Liverpool look to compete on all fronts and the Reds have been strongly linked with Pepe all summer.
We’ll have to wait and see how things develop over the coming days but it looks like there is a fierce battle going on to sign the Lille attacker and I think he’d be a superb signing for Arsenal, Liverpool or United if any of those clubs could win the race.
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