Liverpool have been handed a major boost in the race to sign one of Europe’s breakout stars with it being reported that the exciting attacker prefers a move to the Reds over these European giants.
According to il Napolista, Lille star Nicolas Pepe prefers a move to Liverpool over a potential switch to Napoli, the Ivorian is one of this summer’s most in-demand stars, the ace is attracting interest from several top clubs – including some of Liverpool’s rivals.
As per French outlet Le 10 Sport, Arsenal, Manchester United and Inter Milan are also keen on signing the forward this summer, the Reds would be completing a major coup if they can beat some of their Premier League rivals to the star’s signature.
French newspaper L’Equipe understand that Lille are holding out for around €80m (just under £72m) before they agree to part with their prized asset.
The Times revealed that Liverpool have made contact with the star’s representatives, but not Lille, over a potential transfer.
Pepe was a major reason why Lille managed to defy the odds and finish second in Ligue 1 last time out, the 24-year-old scored 22 league goals and provide 11 assists to his teammates last season.
Liverpool don’t desperately need to add a quality attacker to their ranks this summer, given the presence of superstars Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino in the Merseyside outfit’s forward ranks, however, the chance to sign Pepe – ahead of their rivals, could be too big a chance for the Reds to pass by.
Pepe’s signing would provide worthy competition to Liverpool’s attacking stars and it was perhaps evident last season that Salah and Firmino failed to reach the heights they did they year before for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
The Ivorian is a versatile attacker, making him a sound option for the Reds this summer, the ace could fill in on either wing in the absence of Mane or Salah and he could even lead the line if Firmino was to be missing.
Liverpool have made just one recruit this summer, the signature of talented youngster Sepp van den Berg, and the Reds will need to add quality additions as they look to defend their Champions League title and attempt to beat Manchester City to the Premier League title.
Arguably the biggest reason why the Merseyside outfit missed out on Premier League glory to Guardiola’s side was their lack of quality depth in their squad. City’s ranks boast world-class players throughout and this proved to be crucial.