By 90Min
July 05, 2019

Lille president Gerard Lopez has confirmed Liverpool have held discussions with Nicolas Pepe over a potential summer move, but says there are also plenty of other interested sides.

The Ivorian was one of Europe's breakout stars last season, racking up an incredible 23 goals and 12 assists to fire Lille to second in Ligue 1. Unsurprisingly, that form has caught the attention of a number of clubs, with Liverpool tipped to make a move this summer.

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Speaking to RMC Sport, Lopez confirmed they are yet to have any contact with Liverpool, although the Reds have already spoken to Pepe.

He said: "I know there have been discussions with the player but not with us as a club, Liverpool has players in his position, and I read that he could go there if players leave. I am not particularly focused on Liverpool. But it is true that there have been discussions with agents.

"We had two offers before the Africa Cup of Nations, we'll see after that. My position was to see if we could not do something before it, we had two proposals before it, I had two clubs.

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"The agents with whom we have good relations have asked us a little time to look at other options. 

"It is not just Lille who decides. The player has the right to have preferences. At the beginning of the tournament, he said that being in a competition like this and having your mind to something else, it's complicated.

"It is a primary career choice. In his head there are things going on. Add that to discussions with coaches and appointments between agents, it's not plausible right now. We agreed to wait until the end of the tournament."

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Lopez, speaking earlier on RMC Sport's Team Duga podcast, also insisted that rivals Paris Saint-Germain are yet to lodge a bid for Pepe, despite reports suggesting otherwise.

There are clearly a number of sides interested in Pepe and, with Lille prepared to sell at the right price, it seems just a matter of time before Pepe seals his move away. 

He is seemingly eager to wait until the Ivory Coast are finished at the Africa Cup of Nations, which could be on July 19 if they reach the final. They face Mali in the round of 16 on Monday, and it appears as though no decision will be made until he returns.

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