Liverpool have sounded out the agent of a £70m Ivorian attacker over a potential switch to Anfield, while Aston Villa are to launch a £20m move for a prolific Championship striker, according to Thursday’s newspapers.
LIVERPOOL SOUND OUT NICOLAS PEPE OVER SUMMER SWITCH
Lille winger Nicolas Pepe is a £70m target for Liverpool, according to reports on Thursday.
The Ivorian attacker has enjoyed a stellar season with the Ligue 1 outfit, having scored 21 goals in 36 appearances as his side finished second behind PSG in the table.
But Lille have conceded they will sell Pepe to the highest bidder this summer and the winger has attracted interest from the likes of Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Arsenal and PSG. Chelsea are also keen but their chances don’t look great due to their imminent transfer ban.
However, the Daily Star, who quote Daily Record journalist Duncan Castles, claims it is Liverpool who have made the first move to sign Pepe, having made contact with the 23-year-old’s agent.
He suggests Liverpool have sounded out Pepe over what his terms would be and whether a move to Merseyside would be of interest to him.
Castles claims the Reds are prepared to spend up to £70m to sign Pepe and could strike a deal if the player green lights further talks.
Pepe’s agent last month confirmed interest in his client from Bayern Munich, but said a decision on his future was yet to be made.
“We are in discussion with clubs. No decision has been taken,” agent Samit Khiat told RTL.
“Today, there are no favourites, be it Bayern Munich or another club. Nicolas will not go just anywhere. We have not decided on which league.”
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AND THE REST
Aston Villa are preparing a club-record £20m bid to sign Brentford’s 25-goal striker Neal Maupay (The Sun)
Romelu Lukaku was told he can leave Manchester United during showdown talks on Wednesday (The Sun)
Tottenham’s live screening of the Champions League final on Saturday has sold out (The Sun)
Liverpool’s team bus got stuck in a tunnel below Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano Stadium – the venue that will host the Champions League final (The Sun)
Manchester United have been joined by rivals Manchester City in the £105m race for Benfica wonderkid Joao Felix (The Sun)
Real Madrid are confident they have agreed a deal to buy Eden Hazard from Chelsea for a fee of up to £115m (The Sun)
Atletico Madrid have made an offer of £71m for Leicester City’s England defender Ben Chilwell, but will face competition from Manchester City (The Sun)
Juventus’ players have been told to expect Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri to be appointed as their next manager (Daily Mail)
Real Madrid could introduce Eden Hazard as early as Monday after he played his final game for Chelsea in Baku (Daily Mail)
Liverpool outcast Loris Karius has turned down the chance to attend Saturday’s Champions League final (Daily Mail)
Chelsea named 11 substitutes on their bench compared to Arsenal’s 12 in the Europa League final but there was still no room for Danny Drinkwater (Daily Mail)
Huddersfield are frontrunners to sign Ipswich’s England youngster Dylan Crowe (Daily Mail)
Manchester City winger Patrick Roberts, who spent last season at Girona in Spain, is joining Premier League newcomers Norwich City on loan for the 2019-20 season. The 22-year-old has made one league appearance for City (Daily Telegraph)
England are being damaged by a new generation of football fans who adopt a “stag-do culture”, according to the FA’s head of security (Daily Telegraph)
The prospect of concussion substitutes in football has moved a significant step forward after UEFA joined FIFPro, the world’s player union, in urging FIFA to consider a rule change (Daily Telegraph)
James Maddison is being closely monitored by Mauricio Pochettino as the Tottenham boss plans how to spend his Champions League jackpot (Daily Mirror)
Brighton are bracing themselves for a bid for midfielder Davy Propper from Champions League semi-finalists Ajax (Daily Star)
Southampton striker Sam Gallagher is wanted by Leeds after being told he can leave the south coast (Daily Star)
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp wants to take a close look at Ryan Kent during pre-season before deciding if he spends a second season on loan at Rangers (Daily Record)
QPR are lining up a shock swoop for Scotland and Livingston goalkeeper Liam Kelly (Daily Record)
Gordon Strachan will hold crunch talks with Dundee in the next 48 hours before deciding whether or not to make a stunning return to football at Dens Park (Daily Record)