As per a report from Duncan Castles of the Daily Record, Manchester United have made contact with Lille over the potential summer signing of Nicolas Pepe.
Pepe, a 23-year-old Ivorian winger, has been Ligue 1’s breakout star this season.
The gifted African has notched 20 goals and 11 assists across 36 league outings for Christophe Galtier’s Lille, proving one of the key contributors to Les Dogues’ surprise charge to second-place 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.
Premier League links
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, all 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
Old Trafford bound?
As per the aforementioned update from Duncan Castles this evening, though, Manchester United appear to have made their first move towards pipping their Premier League rivals to Pepe’s signature.
In a somewhat surprising report, it is claimed that Manchester City have given winger Leroy Sane permission to open talks with Bayern Munich over a summer move to Bavaria.
This, in turn, is said to have seen Bayern, a front-runner in the Pepe sweepstakes, cool their interest in the Lille star.
As such, United have reportedly pounced on this opportunity, by making first contact with Lille over Les Dogues’ crown jewel:
— Duncan Castles (@DuncanCastles) May 14, 2019