Manchester United are thought to have had a 'firm' offer in the region of €80m (£71.7m) for Lille forward Nicolas Pepe rejected by the French club as his future edges closer to being decided.
After a stunning 2018/19 season during which his goals and assists saw Lille qualify for the Champions League, Pepe has been one of the most talked about players in Europe so far this summer, with his current club readily accepting that he will be moving on.
Despite early rumours of interest from the likes of Arsenal and Bayern Munich, Ivory Coast international Pepe has latterly been most heavily linked with a switch to Old Trafford. Napoli are also said to be seriously eyeing a deal for the 24-year-old.
Speaking earlier this week, Lille president Gerard Lopez all but confirmed that a deal to sell Pepe is close to being agreed, although he stopped short of naming any clubs.
"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," Lopez told local newspaper La Voix du Nord.
Now, according to Yahoo! Sport France, Lille have rejected a 'firm' bid from United. It is noted that the player himself has already agreed to the proposed transfer, suggesting that hammering out an agreement over the formal transfer fee could well be the final step in the saga.
The update from Yahoo! did not disclose the size of the bid, but La Voix du Nord, a source described as reliable by Get French Football News, had earlier reported on Sunday that the United offer going in was 'close to €80m'.
Whether or not Pepe would be viewed as a replacement for Romelu Lukaku remains unclear, as any transfer could therefore hinge on whether the Belgian stays in Manchester or joins Inter.