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Transfer news: Liverpool and Manchester United could go head-to-head for Ricardo Pepi

Ricardo Pepi
(Image credit: PA)

Manchester United and Liverpool could go head-to-head for the American starlet Ricardo Pepi, according to reports.

The teenage striker has been one of the standout performers in MLS throughout the 2021 campaign.

Pepi has scored 13 goals in 28 matches in the competition, despite his team's struggles in the Western Conference.

The 18-year-old has also enjoyed a blistering start to his international career, finding the net three times in his four outings for the United States so far.

His form has not escaped the attention of clubs on the other side of the Atlantic, and Dallas are already bracing themselves for bids.

Brentford and Brighton have both been tracking Pepi in recent months, and the Daily Mirror reports that Liverpool and Manchester United have now joined the race for his signature.

And with the MLS season set to end in December, there is hope among Pepi's suitors that the frontman could be available in the January window.

It could cost as little as £10m to sign the Texan, who made his MLS debut as a 16-year-old back in 2019.

Pepi is highly regarded within the national team setup, and many fans in the United States believe he could be their star player at the 2022 World Cup.

The likes of Liverpool and United might therefore attempt to sign him before that tournament, when he could alert many more clubs in Europe to his talent.

It is not clear whether the two Premier League giants would find space for Pepi in their first-team squads immediately, though.

United or Liverpool could offer to loan the striker back to Dallas for another season.

Such a proposal could give either side an advantage in the battle to sign Pepi, who would also benefit from the sort of regular football he might not get at Anfield or Old Trafford in 2022.

On the other hand, Liverpool in particular might view Pepi as ideal cover for Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, both of whom will be participating in the Africa Cup of Nations in January.

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