Liverpool are the latest Premier League club to be linked with a potential transfer swoop for Lille winger Nicolas Pepe.
The Ivory Coast international is enjoying a superb season so far in 2018/19, scoring 12 goals in Ligue 1 despite playing largely out wide or in attacking midfield.
This puts Pepe behind only Kylian Mbappe in the Ligue 1 scoring charts, and ahead of big names like Neymar and Edinson Cavani.
The latest from Don Balon is that Liverpool are among the clubs interested in the talented 23-year-old, who would cost around £72million to prise away from Lille.
This seems to be the first time Liverpool have been mentioned as possible suitors for Pepe, with the main focus of the piece being Real Madrid’s pursuit of him.
Still, it could well be that we’ll be seeing Pepe in England soon enough, with Matt Spiro recently translating a report from L’Equipe that Arsenal were leading the chase for his signature.
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
Get French Football News have also translated a report from L’Equipe linking him with Manchester United, though it is not clear if their interest remains now that Jose Mourinho has left his position as manager.
Still, Pepe would surely be a fine signing for this Red Devils side after their struggles in attack, with Alexis Sanchez out of sorts this season and the player perhaps even an option to replace the goal-shy Romelu Lukaku at centre-forward.
For Arsenal, the need for Pepe seems obvious after indifferent seasons from the likes of Mesut Ozil, Alex Iwobi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan in attacking midfield, as well as the injury to Danny Welbeck.
Liverpool, arguably, have the least need for Pepe at the moment, though with Jurgen Klopp’s side perhaps having their best shot at the title in years this season, more depth in attack could be a crucial thing to have in the second half of this season.
The Ivorian also seems ideal for how LFC play, and could perhaps even be an upgrade on Roberto Firmino in that somewhat free false 9 role he tends to play for the Reds.