Nicolas Pepe’s agent has confirmed that the attacker is in talks over a summer move away from Lille and does not already have an agreement in place with Bayern Munich.
The Ivory Coast international has been in sensational form this season, scoring 19 goals and laying on 11 assists, and was involved in three of Lille’s goals in their recent 5-1 win over champions elect Paris Saint-Germain.
A host of Premier League sides are believed to be poised to battle it out to sign Pepe this summer, though reports in Germany suggested Bayern had already made the first move.
But Pepe’s agent, Samir Khiat, says the 23-year-old has yet to decide which club he will join, but now looks certain to leave at the end of the season. ‘We are in discussions with clubs. No decision has been taken,’ Khiat told RTL on Saturday.
‘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.’
Arsenal have reportedly been tracking Pepe since Sven Mislintat was still at the club, though his potential £75million price tag would wipe out their whole transfer budget.
Chelsea have identified Pepe as the ideal replacement for Eden Hazard should the Belgian join Real Madrid, while Liverpool are also looking at him should Mohamed Salah or Sadio Mane leave the club.
However, the Blues – who ironically also signed Hazard from Lille – have perhaps the slimmest chance of landing Pepe as they wait to find out if their transfer ban will be upheld or not before making their move.