Arsenal hold transfer advantage over Liverpool due to Nicolas Pepe link

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Arsenal and Liverpool are both reportedly tracking Eintracht Frankfurt defender Evan N’Dicka.

The Gunners are eyeing a new centre-back to partner William Saliba next season whilst Liverpool are keen to secure a replacement for Dejan Lovren to bolster their options alongside Virgil van Dijk.

That has led both clubs monitoring the 20-year-old France Under-21 international throughout the Bundesliga campaign.

N’Dicka has impressed since his switch from Auxerre in 2018, proving himself at centre-back and also filling in at right-back when needed.

That has led to strong links to various clubs, including Italian clubs Napoli and Inter Milan, but reports in Italy claim he ‘dreams of the Premier League’ appearing to place Liverpool and Arsenal in pole position for his signature.

But Arsenal could hold a key advantage in the transfer battle as a result of their summer signing of Nicolas Pepe.

That’s because the £20million-rated defender includes Aboubacar Traore amongst his entourage – one of the men responsible for taking Pepe to north London.

Arsenal won the race to land Pepe from Lille in a club-record £72million deal last summer with his representatives – including Traore – widely reported to have played a vital role in his final decision.

Their involvement with N’Dicka would appear likely to give Arsenal an edge over Liverpool due to their close working relationship.

There would also likely be a chance of a more instant first-team impact at the Emirates alongside fellow French youngster Saliba as he returns from his season-long loan at Saint-Etienne.

With both clubs eyeing a centre-back, there is plenty of overlap between targets.

Liverpool are also reported to be considering a move for long-term Gunners target Dayot Upamecano, another French youngster impressing in the Bundesliga with RB Leipzig.

There are claims that his price tag could fall as Leipzig look to cash-in and aid their financial situation after the coronavirus crisis with the in-demand defender keen to depart.Liverpool

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