Lille Boss Says Nicolas Pepe Will Leave Club Amid Manchester United Rumours

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIMay 19, 2019

Lille's Ivorian forward Nicolas Pepe celebrates  after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match between Lille (LOSC) and Angers (SCO) at the Pierre-Mauroy Stadium in Villeneuve d'Ascq, near Lille, northern France, on May 18 2019. (Photo by DENIS CHARLET / AFP)        (Photo credit should read DENIS CHARLET/AFP/Getty Images)
DENIS CHARLET/Getty Images

Lille manager Christophe Galtier says that star winger Nicolas Pepe will leave the Ligue 1 club this summer amid speculation Manchester United are one of several teams interested in his signature.

Galtier told Canal+ (h/t Goal) that the 23-year-old will depart in the transfer window and will have his pick of Europe's top clubs.

"Nicolas Pepe will leave. Life's like that; football's like that today. He is a player of the highest level who will have a big decision to make on the choice of his next club. There will be a battle between the great European teams. I hope that he will take good amount of time to think about it, do his research."

Pepe joined Lille in June 2017 from Angers and has gone on to have a big impact at the Ligue 1 side. He has racked up an impressive 22 goals and 11 assists in 37 league appearances this season.

FootballTalentScout highlighted just how effective he has been:

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The winger bagged a brace on Saturday in a 5-0 win over his former team that secured a second-place finish and helped Lille clinch UEFA Champions League football for next season:

He has also been named as the club's Player of the Season:

Manchester United are keen to strengthen in the summer after a disappointing campaign and are interested in Pepe, according to David McDonnell at the Mirror

Bleacher Report's Rob Blanchette said he would be a good buy for the Red Devils:

Yet Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side will not be able to offer Pepe Champions League football, and they are also likely to face competition from several other big names.

Sport Witness noted some of the clubs linked with the winger:

Football.London's James Benge offered some insight on Arsenal's reported interest:

Pepe is one of Europe's most exciting young wingers, and Lille will be keen to sell to the highest bidder so they can reinvest in their squad ahead of their Champions League campaign.

The 23-year-old looks to have an exciting future ahead of him, but he will need to choose his next destination carefully and ensure he moves to a club that can help develop his obvious potential.

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