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Liverpool eye in-demand Ligue 1 star Nicolas Pepe

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp joins the queue of Nicolas Pepe admirers

Bengaluru, April 23: Premier League title-chasers Liverpool are set to battle Arsenal and Chelsea for Lille winger Nicolas Pepe, according to reports.

The Ivory Coast star, 23, is wanted by some of Europe's biggest clubs and is sure to be the subject of an intense bidding war.

It is understood the French club could demand a fee of at least £69million for Pepe who has been in red-hot form this season.

And according to reports in France, the Anfield side have contacted Lille about a potential transfer.

It hardly comes as a surprise that the Ivorian winger is in high demand. He has lit up Ligue 1 this season with a staggering 19 goals and 13 assists in 33 appearances.

The winger grabbed a goal and two assists in the 5-1 hammering of Paris Saint-Germain last week.

But he could not inspire his side to victory against Toulouse yesterday which meant Paris Saint-Germain were mathematically crowned champions for the sixth time in seven seasons.

Lille have become resigned to the fact they are likely to lose their star man this summer.

President Gerard Lopez told Telefoot: "Four or five players will be leaving this summer.

“All clubs are forced to balance their accounts except perhaps one. I would say yes, it is sure he [Pepe] will leave.

“He enters a price range that can no longer be paid. There is a career choice to make for him, I think he will have the choice."

But Liverpool will face an intense battle if they are to land the Ivorian.

As well as Chelsea and Arsenal, Bayern Munich are very interested in signing Pepe and had scouts in attendance as he tore PSG apart.

The Bavarians are understood to be in "pole position" to land him and he would be expected to help fill the vacated boots of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.

If Liverpool do not get Pepe, they may try and sign Bayer Leverkusen star Juliant Brandt who is a long-term target of Jurgen Klopp.

He is understood to have a £21.5m release clause if Bayer fail to qualify for the Champions League and could provide good competition and strength to the forward line for Jurgen Klopp.

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Story first published: Tuesday, April 23, 2019, 12:51 [IST]
Other articles published on Apr 23, 2019
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