Jose Mourinho has talked up the qualities of Manchester United target Nicolas Pepe, claiming the Lille attacker has all the qualities to become a player of genuine quality.
Pepe has been heavily linked with United, as well as Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool after a stellar campaign in Ligue 1.
The French-Ivorian has hit the radar of numerous big club’s in Europe this year after hitting 21 goals and 12 assists for Lille this season.
Lille coach Christophe Galtier last month admitted it will be hard to keep the Ivory Coast sensation, with the likes of PSG and Bayern Munich also keen on snapping up the 23-year-old, who is rated in the €70m (£65m) bracket by the Ligue 1 outfit.
Mourinho – who was sacked by United back in December – was asked if he would look to sign Pepe at whatever club he manages next, and while he gave little away on his own future, he did make a case for the abilities of Lille’s star man.
Speaking to L’Equipe, Mourinho said: “I don’t know what my next club will be!
“But everyone knows that he is a quality player in the making.”
Asked if he feels Pepe has been at the same level as PSG superstars Kylian Mbappe and Neymar this season, Mourinho continued: “He played almost every game, he was decisive for his team.
“But to talk about Mbappe and Neymar is to talk about two of the best players in the world.
“If it had not been for three matches, Mbappe would have been the top scorer in Europe, I think. Neymar, with his injury, played half a season.
“But they are players from another dimension.
“Luis [Campos, Lille’s sporting director], when he tells me about Kylian, he has shining eyes.
“It’s not the diamond that says, ‘He can do that or that.’ No, he did it already! The question is how far he can go, he is so young and the room for improvement is important.”
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