By 90Min
April 22, 2019

Liverpool have joined Premier League rivals Chelsea in the very crowded market for Lille forward Nicolas Pepe, with the Ivorian star expected to fetch a huge price if leaves Ligue 1 this summer.

Pepe has been linked with almost every European giant in recent weeks as he nears an inevitable exit from Lille. The likes of Bayern Munich, Inter, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal have been linked, while one report claims Liverpool have earmarked the 23-year-old as a target should Mohamed Salah up sticks this summer.

Matthias Hangst/GettyImages

That claim comes from French source Le10Sport, who state that Liverpool have been incredibly impressed with Pepe's recent form in Ligue 1. The 23-year-old has racked up 19 goals and 14 assists this season, trailing just Kylian Mbappe in the division's scoring charts.

Whilst the Reds may not have a place in their squad for Pepe at the minute, they might be more inclined to make a move if Salah leaves.

It has previously been reported that Salah asked to leave Liverpool following a meeting with Jurgen Klopp, and Le10Sport claim that he could be on his way out of the club if they receive a sizeable offer from a potential suitor, such as Real Madrid.

It is worth noting that Salah's agent has since rubbished those reports of Salah's desire to quit Anfield.

Matthias Hangst/GettyImages

Meanwhile, according to Telefoot (via Calciomercato), Maurizio Sarri's Blues see Pepe as one of two potential replacements for Eden Hazard, who has been linked with his own move to Los Blancos.

Alongside Pepe - who was named as potential target for the Chelsea last week - Sarri's side are considering a mammoth bid for Barcelona's Philippe Coutinho, who enjoyed some of the best form of his career in the Premier League with Liverpool.

Coutinho is expected to attract less interest than Pepe, meaning the Blues may have an easier task of luring him to Stamford Bridge. However, any transfer activity at all hinges on whether they can get their impending transfer ban frozen.

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