Liverpool face fierce competition in fight for Ligue 1 star

Nicolas Pepe

Reports in France say that Liverpool are preparing to make a summer swoop for Lille winger Nicolas Pepe.

The 23-year-old has emerged as one of European football’s hottest properties this season after scoring 19 goals to help his club to second place in Ligue 1.

Arsenal and Chelsea are among the Premier League clubs to have been credited with an interest in Pepe, but L’Equipe has reported that Liverpool made an enquiry at the start of April.

The Anfield outfit are positioning themselves to sign the player, but face competition from Inter Milan as the Italians are understood to have already submitted an offer in the region of £55 million.

Bayern Munich and PSG could provide further competition for the signature of the Ivory Coast international.

Pepe has a contract with Lille until 2022, but the French club’s president Gerard Lopez admitted earlier this month that a sale is certain.

“Four or five players will be leaving this summer,” he told Telefoot.

“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."

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