Lille president confirms that Arsenal and Manchester United target “will leave” this summer

Nicolas Pepe

The 23-year-old has enjoyed a superb season in France, scoring 21 league goals to help his club clinch a surprise second-place finish and qualify for the Champions League.

Pepe’s form has attracted several big clubs across Europe, including Premier League sides Manchester United and Arsenal and German champions Bayern Munich.

Galtier admitted that he would not stand in the way of the Ivory Coast international at the end of the season as he prepares for a bidding war for the youngster’s signature.

“Nicolas Pepe will leave," Galtier told Canal Plus.

“Life’s like that, football’s like that today. He is a player of the highest level who will have a big decision to make on the choice of his next club.”

Galtier also urged the winger to carefully consider his next destination.

“There will be a battle between the great European teams. I hope that he will take good amount of time to think about it, do his research,” he said.

“Like he did when he came here and when he decided to stay here [last summer], find the right project.”

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Alasdair Mackenzie is a freelance journalist based in Rome, and a FourFourTwo contributor since 2015. When not pulling on the FFT shirt, he can be found at Reuters, The Times and the i. An Italophile since growing up on a diet of Football Italia on Channel 4, he now counts himself among thousands of fans sharing a passion for Ross County and Lazio.