By Scott Mason – @ScottMason00
The reports say that the French-Ivorian forward has caught the eye of Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp after an impressive season with the French side.
The Ivorian was a major influence in Lille’s second place finish in Ligue 1, scoring 22 goals and assisting 11 in 38 league appearances. The Reds are not the only team looking at the goal-scoring winger, however, with Arsenal and Man United also showing interest.
Inter Milan were also monitoring Pepe’s situation and were ready to table a bid of €60m for the services of the Lille forward. However, the French club are waiting to hold out for €80m, a price Liverpool are reportedly ready to pay.
Meanwhile, The Mirror reported on Saturday that Bayern Munich is the likely destination for Pepe, with the Bavarians in the midst of a rebuild after the departures of club legends Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.
L’Equipe do say that a move for Pepe from Liverpool could all depend on the future of Mohamed Salah, though it is unlikely Klopp will allow his star forward to leave. Losing Mo Salah would prove a major blow to the Reds even if the Les Dogues forward is signed as his replacement.
Liverpool will be competing for seven trophies in the 2019/20 season and will need as much depth as possible. Signing Pepe would add more options to the forward line and would allow the manager to play the same system if the Ivorian starts ahead of Salah or Sadio Mané.
Nicolas Pepe could be a fantastic acquisition for Liverpool if he can bring his goal-scoring ability from France across the pond to England, and if he is signed to add depth to the squad as opposed to being a replacement for the Egyptian King in the event of his unlikely Anfield departure.