Lille manager Christophe Galtier says Nicolas Pepe is ‘150%’ likely to leave the club this summer, as this is simply the economic reality of the Ligue 1 side.

Lille's Ivorian forward Nicolas Pepe celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match between Lille (LOSC) and Olympique Lyonnais (OL) on December 1, 2018 at the Pierre Mauroy Stadium in Villenueve d'Ascq. (Photo by FRANCOIS LO PRESTI/AFP/Getty Images)
Lille’s Ivorian forward Nicolas Pepe celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match between Lille (LOSC) and Olympique Lyonnais (OL) on December 1, 2018, at the Pierre Mauroy Stadium in Villeneuve d’Ascq. (Photo by FRANCOIS LO PRESTI/AFP/Getty Images)

23-year-old winger Pepe scored 23 goals for Lille this season, assisting a further 12 in 41 appearances. 35 goal contributions in one of Europe’s top five leagues has drawn the attention of plenty of top clubs, and the player’s manager doesn’t deny that they have no chance of holding onto him this summer.

“Nicolas will not go 100%, he will go 150%,” Galtier said. “It’s an economic reality when you have a player who scored 35 goals in 18 months, solicited by the biggest clubs, who will have major offers.

“My president has a budget to respect, there is a balance in the locker room to respect the wages and how to prevent a player from leaving surely for a large European club? It is impossible!”

Lille president Gerard Lopez has also previously admitted Pepe’s departure is certain, claiming the player himself has the choice of where to go next.

Lille's Ivorian forward Nicolas Pepe celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match between Amiens and Lille at the Licorne stadium in Amiens, northern France, on August 26, 2018. (Photo by FRANCOIS LO PRESTI / AFP) (Photo credit should read FRANCOIS LO PRESTI/AFP/Getty Images)
Lille’s Ivorian forward Nicolas Pepe celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match between Amiens and Lille at the Licorne stadium in Amiens, northern France, on August 26, 2018. (Photo by FRANCOIS LO PRESTI / AFP / Getty Images)

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.

Whether Arsenal can afford to compete with those kinds of clubs financially is likely to define whether they can make a serious move for Pepe or not.

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