Liverpool, Man Utd open talks over €80m deal for Ivory Coast star

Oli Fisher
Ivory Coast's forward Nicolas Pepe

Liverpool and Man Utd have begun talks in an attempt to beat Premier League competition to Lille star Nicolas Pepe, one journalist claims.

The French-Ivorian has hit the radar of numerous big club’s in Europe this year after hitting 21 goals and 12 assists this season.

Asked about his future earlier this week, Pepe said: “We don’t talk about it, the season is not over yet. ‘Once it is finished we will be able to talk about it, but now no.”

United are apparently confident of luring the forward to Old Trafford despite not qualifying for the Champions League, and are believed to have been closely tracking Pepe since the start of the season.

Meanwhile, the player has been heavily linked with Arsenal, as well as PSG and Chelsea, after a stellar campaign in Ligue 1 – but there has been yet another twist as delivered by transfer pundit Duncan Castles.

Speaking on the Transfer Window podcast, Castles said: “From what I’ve been told, Liverpool have been in contact with Pepe’s agent to discuss a deal, his interest in coming and what is would cost to come. Lille are aware of this and are waiting for a bid.”

“Manchester United have enquired directly to Lille about what the transfer fee would be. PSG also have an interest in Pepe. Lille have been very clear he’s available for sale and the asking price is €80m (£70m). They would love to have a bid come in from Liverpool and United to get an auction going.”


Get the latest personalised Reds products on our new TEAMtalk Liverpool shop!