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Gerard Lopez Says '4 Big Clubs' Have Made Acceptable Nicolas Pepe Offers

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistJuly 26, 2019

LILLE, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 17: Lille's Nicolas Pepe in action during the Ligue 1 match between Lille and Montpellier at Stade Pierre Mauroy on February 17, 2019 in Lille, France. (Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images)
Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images

Four clubs have made bids for Lille forward Nicolas Pepe that "satisfy" the French outfit, according to president Gerard Lopez. 

Lopez told Tuttosport that among the interested parties, Napoli have met Lille's €80 million (£72 million) valuation for the 24-year-old (h/t Goal's Chris Burton):

"Last year we asked Pepe to stay with the promise that we would sell in this transfer window.

"We received offers that satisfy us economically from four big clubs. [Napoli chairman Aurelio] De Laurentiis has satisfied our request for €80 million. Now it is up to the player to decide where he wants to go.

"He must make that decision based on the offers that his agents have received from the four clubs.

"On Monday, Pepe will return from vacation, and I believe that by the middle of the week he will have made a decision."

According to L'Equipe (h/t Get French Football News), Liverpool, Arsenal and Inter Milan are the other clubs that have have bids accepted for Pepe. Manchester United have also been linked:

Robin Bairner @RBairner

Lille's Nicolas Pepe has been talking with Napoli - but LOSC have also agreed terms with Man Utd and Inter over a transfer fee, according to Voix du Nord. Wherever he goes, fee expected to be around €80m. #MUFC

The quality of clubs interested in Pepe is an indication of his immense talent.

The Ivory Coast international scored 22 goals and provided 11 assists in Ligue 1 last season, a combined contribution bettered only by Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe.

Pepe favours the right flank, but he can also play in the centre-forward role, and his phenomenal pace makes him a huge threat going forward.

Of the clubs that have been linked with Pepe, Arsenal and United may be at a disadvantage in the transfer battle because they cannot offer UEFA Champions League football next season.

Liverpool's interest is understandable given they are overly reliant on Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah in attack.

Pepe would be a brilliant addition to Jurgen Klopp's squad and could help the Reds to win the Premier League next season.

But the Ivorian may have concerns about  being a back-up player at Anfield rather than a guaranteed starter.

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