Liverpool target Nicolas Pepe is set to depart French side Lille this summer, the club’s president Christophe Galtier has confirmed.
Pepe has been in great form this season for Lille and has been one of Ligue 1’s standout players.
He has put in some brilliant performances as he has scored 22 and has assisted 11 from his 37 league appearances this campaign.
The Ivory Coast international was already on the radar of clubs like Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United. But his great form this season has caught the eye of the elite around Europe with Bayern Munich said to be joining the race to sign the forward.
The mounting interest in Pepe now seems to be too much for Lille to handle.
Their club president Galtier has admitted to Canal Plus, as cited by FourFourTwo, that they expect to lose their star man:
Nicolas Pepe will leave. Life’s like that, football’s like that today. He is a player of the highest level who will have a big decision to make on the choice of his next club. There will be a battle between the great European teams.
I hope that he will take good amount of time to think about it, do his research. Like he did when he came here and when he decided to stay here [last summer], find the right project.
There is no doubt that if Liverpool are wanting to sign Pepe, they will face a lot of competition to secure his signature.
Liverpool already have an abundance of quality in attacking areas and the signing of Pepe would be a great addition to this.
Who could Liverpool sign if they miss out on Pepe?
The Bayer Leverkusen man is a long-term target for Liverpool and could be on the move this summer.
Hakim Ziyech is another player who could be on the move this summer after a standout season with Ajax.
While not a direct comparison between the two players, long-term Reds target Timo Werner would be an excellent addition to the club’s front line.
Another Eredivisie talent comes in the form of Hirving Lozano, who could leave PSV this summer.