Kolkata, October 12: Premier League duo Manchester United and Arsenal look set to miss out on Lille forward Nicolas Pepe as Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich are said to be the front-runners for his signature.
It is understood that Bayern Munich are plotting a January move for the in-form forward.
According to reports in the German media, the Bavarians are now in pole position to land Pepe when the transfer window re-opens.
They want to speed up talks in order to fend off potential competition for the Ivorian.
With both Arjen Robben and Frank Ribery, aged 34 and 35 respectively, into double figures for appearances this season, Bayern need some fresh legs on the wing and Pepe has impressed their scouts with his scintillating run of form.
The 23-year-old has notched up six goals this season and as many assists for Ligue 1 side Lille in just nine appearances.
The Ivorian bagged a hat-trick in the 3-2 away win over Amiens last month and has three goals in his eight international caps.
Arsenal were keen to land Pepe next year with a £30million bid for the star, who signed a five-year deal at the club in 2017.
Manchester United joined the race for the highly-sought-after attacker towards the end of September.
Meanwhile, Southampton and French side Lyon both had bids rejected by Lille in the summer.
However, it appears he could be tempted by a move to the Bundesliga to continue his development and Bayern are in need of something different after a poor start to the new campaign under their new boss Nico Kovac.
Kovac is already under pressure with just four wins from seven this season and a 0-3 home defeat to Borussia Monchengladbach did not help.
French trio Zinedine Zidane, Arsene Wenger and Laurent Blanc are on a list of potential candidates to replace the Croat who is leadi g the sack race right now.