Liverpool are in “concrete discussions” with LOSC Lille over a summer move for the highly sought after Nicolas Pepe.
The winger was a standout figure for Lille in Ligue 1 last season, scoring 22 goals and creating 11 assists to help his side finish second in the league, and a number of Europe’s biggest sides are eyeing a move for the 24-year-old.
And according to an exclusive Get French Football News interview with RMC Sport’s chief football editor Mohamed Bouhafsi, who is an incredibly reliable journalist, Liverpool have held talks with Lille over a move for the winger.
This is an €80m situation. So it is a situation that needs time and calm. What I can say is that there are very concrete discussions with Liverpool. Discussions that are not even denied by Lille, at Lille they don’t deny the very concrete interest and discussions from and with Liverpool.
I know that Jurgen Klopp adores Nicolas Pepe’s profile, he brings a lot of speed and he is made to play in England, with quick transitions and an exceptional ability to counter-attack. Discussions have been had with Liverpool, who have a very profound interest. The other thing that I know is that Nicolas Pépé is at AFCON and wants a couple of days to make his decision.
Liverpool have been strenuously linked with a move for the winger this summer, but face competition from a number of side’s across Europe in the race to land the Ivory Coast international.
And Bouhafsi believes the Reds’ main competition at the moment is from Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan, though he claims the Serie A side may not have the financial muscle to complete a deal.
I know that one of my colleagues, Bilel Ghazi, who does an excellent job, speaks about Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan. But I think that at €80m, this deal is too expensive for the Italian side
Four moments of Pepe's season
Strong start vs Rennes
Pepe began last season in fine fettle, with a goal and an assist in a 3-1 victory over Rennes.
Hat-trick vs Amiens
Pepe’s match winning hat-trick against Amiens ended a run of three matches without a goal for the winger and saw his side to a fine 3-2 away win.
Goal and assist vs Nantes
Pepe helped Lille come from 2-0 down against Nantes to lead 3-2 inside seven second half minutes by scoring the equaliser and assisting the winner.
Standout performance vs PSG
One of Pepe’s finest performances of the season came against Paris Saint-Germain, as the winger scored one and assisted two of Lille’s five goals in a thumping 5-1 victory over the Ligue 1 giants.