Manchester United have reportedly made contact with Lille to discuss a deal for Nicolas Pepe.
Pepe has been one of the standout attacking players in Ligue 1 this season, notching up 20 goals and 11 assists for second-placed Lille, and Europe’s elite clubs are queueing up for the 23-year-old forward ahead of the summer transfer window.
Bayern Munich are among the favourites to land Pepe but have cooled their interest to focus their attentions on Manchester City’s Leroy Sane after being given the green light to talk to the German’s representatives.
According to The Daily Record, this has prompted United to make a move for Pepe.
The report suggests a senior United official approached Lille last week to talk over his potential availability.
Lille are aware that United are on the hunt for a right winger this summer and have slapped a £70 million price tag on the sought-after Ivory Coast international.
It’s claimed Jose Mourinho told United’s board about Pepe before last summer’s transfer window but a move for the attacker never materialised.
Bayern have already failed with a £52m bid to sign Pepe who has also been heavily linked with Arsenal and Liverpool in recent months.
United are confident they still have the pulling power to attract the likes of Pepe this summer despite failing to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
The Red Devils have been closely tracking Pepe since the start of the season with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer preparing to overhaul his failing squad after a disastrous end to the 2018/19 season.
Asked about his future earlier this week, Pepe replied:
‘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.’
Pepe’s agent has made no secret of the enormous interest in his client in the lead-up to the summer transfer window.
‘We are in discussions with clubs. No decision has been taken,’ Samir Khiat told RTL last month.
‘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.’