As per a report from French outlet L’Equipe, Premier League giants Liverpool are gearing up for a big-money assault on Lille star man Nicolas Pepe.
Pepe, a 24-year-old Ivorian winger, proved Ligue 1’s breakout star this season.
The gifted African notched 22 goals and 11 assists across 38 league outings for Christophe Galtier’s Lille, proving one of the key contributors to Les Dogues’ surprise 2nd-placed finish in the French top-flight.
Pepe is noted for his turn of pace, ability to beat defenders, eye for a killer pass and, evidently based on his stellar goal return, penchant for finding the net on a consistent basis.
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As such, the explosive attacker’s stellar form at the Stade Pierre Mauroy has inevitably seen Pepe linked with a number of Europe’s top clubs.
To this point, the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea, Barcelona, PSG and Bayern Munich have been named as suitors of the Lille standout.
Arsenal were even linked with a big-money swoop for Pepe in January:
Arsenal leading chase for Nicolas Pepe but lots of competition emerging. L’Equipe this morning suggest Lille will negotiate in January if a club opens bidding at €50m. But owner has previously stated he won’t sell mid season
— Matt Spiro (@mattspiro) December 17, 2018
As per the aforementioned update from L’Equipe this evening, though, it is in fact another pair of clubs who look set to battle it out over the 11-time capped international’s signature.
The first are Serie A powerhouse Inter Milan.
It is claimed that the Nerazzurri, on the back of Antonio Conte’s appointment, have lodged a 70 million Euro bid for Pepe.
But, in a surprise twist, it is subsequently suggested that Liverpool are set to outbid the Milanese giants.
The Champions League finalists are reportedly ready to table a massive 80 million Euro offer to Lille:
Liverpool have accelerated interest in Lille attacker Nicolas Pépé & appear to be closing in on offering the €80m excluding bonuses demanded by Les Dogues, according to L’Équipe.
— Get French Football News (@GFFN) June 6, 2019
L’Equipe’s report, though, should be taken with a pinch of salt.
The French daily also go on to state that Liverpool are considering parting ways with Mohamed Salah.