Arsenal handed major blow in race to sign Emery’s priority target as rival club table £60m bid for star

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Liverpool will move for Nicolas Pepe in the coming weeks, according to reports in France.

The Lille forward will be hot property in the coming transfer market after 19 goals in Ligue 1 this season – only Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe (30) has scored more.

Arsenal have been tracking Pepe for the last year, while Chelsea recently identified the 23-year-old as a replacement for Real Madrid-bound Eden Hazard.

But L’Equipe claim Liverpool are ready to position themselves to sign Pepe after making an enquiry about the star earlier this month.

Italian side Inter have reportedly already lodged a written offer for Pepe, which is believed to be between £52million and £60m.

Lille expect improved bids to come in for their prized asset, with Liverpool competing with Bayern Munich and PSG for Pepe’s signature.

Club president Gerard Lopez conceded Pepe would almost certainly leave Lille this summer.

‘Four or five players will be leaving this summer,’ he told Telefoot.

‘All clubs are forced to balance their accounts except perhaps one. I would say yes, it is sure he [Pepe] will leave.

‘He enters a price range that can no longer be paid. There is a career choice to make for him, I think he will have the choice.’


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