Liverpool have reportedly emerged as potential suitors for LOSC Lille star Nicolas Pepe.
The Ivorian international has been outstanding for his team in Ligue 1 this season and leads the way as their top goalscorer with 19 strikes to his name, along with a further 13 assists.
Pepe has been courted by a host of clubs from across Europe ahead of the summer transfer window. According to a report from Le10 Sport, Liverpool are the latest to have established an interest.
The Reds are likely to refuse the sale of Mohamed Salah this summer given his importance to their plans going forward, but contingency plans appear to have been made in case the Egyptian does move on.
Le10 Sport reports that Pepe would be high up on Liverpool’s shortlist if they do indeed lose Salah, as the Lille star’s stock continues to rise.
However, if the Reds are to pursue a summer deal for the 23-year-old, they will face competition. Premier League rivals Chelsea are keen, while Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Inter Milan are noted as interested parties.
Why Liverpool should keep Salah but also target Pepe
Players in the ilk of Pepe suit Jurgen Klopp’s style down to the ground. He is quick, adept in counter-attacking situations, and makes intelligent decisions.
Pepe has displayed this season that he has the composure and ruthlessness to thrive at a top club. He’s been outstanding in front of goal.
Pepe is capable of playing as an orthodox striker but is primarily strong on the right-hand side of an attacking quartet.
Quality in depth
Landing Pepe would be yet another exceptional signing for Liverpool. He’d provide them with a superb rotational option to compete with Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane for places.