Lille president Gerard Lopez has admitted the departure of star winger Nicolas Pepe this summer is certain, and the player himself has the choice of where to go next.
Speaking to Telefoot over the weekend, Lopez didn’t hide the fact that Pepe is likely to join a number of players leaving Lille this summer, after their impressive season in Ligue 1. The team sit second in the table and clearly plan to cash in on their success.
“Four or five players will leave this summer,” Lopez said. “The departure of Nicolas Pepe is certain. He enters a price range that can not be paid anymore. He will have the choice (of destination).”
Le10Sport reported previously that Arsenal were ‘well-positioned’ to bring Nicolas Pepe to the club this summer. The Gunners were apparently favourites to sign their long-term target for a fee of around €50m, according to the claims.
However, the same outlet then rumoured that Bayern Munich have a serious interest in Pepe, and discussions have already taken place between the Bundesliga club, Lille and the player’s entourage. PSG have also had strong links with the winger.
Pepe has been in fantastic form for Lille this season, scoring 19 goals and providing 12 assists in just 34 matches. As a result, his team have made a surprising run up the table and are set for Champions League qualification. Unfortunately for them, it seems the Ivory Coast international isn’t going to stick around for that European campaign.
You’d think Pepe would only want to trade Champions League football with Lille for Champions League football somewhere else, so Arsenal should focus on qualifying for Europe’s top-tier competition before taking this any further.