Liverpool and Manchester United are thought to be battling for the Lille star's signature.

By 90Min
July 23, 2019

Lille president Gerard Lopez has revealed that winger Nicolas Pepe is close to sealing an exit from the club, with Liverpool and Manchester United thought to be battling for his signature.

The winger enjoyed a stunning campaign with Lille, which caught the eye of most of Europe's elite sides. He has been linked with a move away for months, but he preferred to wait until after the Africa Cup of Nations to decide on his future.

Speaking to La Voix du Nord, Lopez admitted that Lille are already prepared for Pepe's departure, and his move away from the club will soon be finalized.

He said: “Our work is done. In terms of departures and arrivals: if a player leaves, we will go and get what we need. For Nico, it is almost done and he could have left last summer. it is true that there are big offers and big clubs in for him, so I think… (he will leave). Aside from that, you never know in football.”

Lille are believed to have already agreed a deal to sign Watford's Dodi Ludebakio as a replacement for Pepe, but they will only finalize the move once the Ivorian has officially left the club.

In terms of likely landing spots for Pepe, Lopez has previously talked up Liverpool's interest in the winger. The Reds have repeatedly denied their interest in Pepe, although reports continue to link them with a huge bid for the player.

However, in recent days, United are thought to have moved towards the front of the queue for his signature, with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer thought to be desperate to add some more attacking flair to his side.

The Red Devils are said to have stepped up their pursuit of Pepe, and they are now in 'advanced negotiations' to try strike a deal for the winger, who racked up an incredible 23 goals and 12 assists last season in all competitions.

He is thought to be valued at around £70m, and it appears as though at least one interested side has lodged a satisfactory offer with Lille this summer.

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