Liverpool have reportedly approached Ivory Coast international Nicolas Pepe, as they look to sign the winger from Ligue 1 outfit LOSC Lille.
According to journalist Duncan Castles, Premier League runners-up and Champions League finalists Liverpool have taken the first step towards strengthening their attack for the next season, by making an approach for LOSC Lille winger Nicolas Pepe.
The 23-year-old is one of the most sought-after players heading into the summer transfer window after an explosive 2018-19 campaign with the Ligue 1 outfit. Pepe ended the season with 22 goals and 11 assists from 38 league outings, finishing only behind PSG’s Kylian Mbappe in the scoring charts.
This sort of form has seen him attract interest from some of the biggest clubs across Europe. Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid have been credited with some degree of interest, while the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United have all been linked with a move for the Ivorian winger along with Liverpool.
Liverpool have had another memorable campaign as they finished second in the Premier League, beaten by Manchester City by just a point, while they have once again made it to the final of the UEFA Champions League, where they will be facing Tottenham Hotspur.
After a strong season, manager Jurgen Klopp is hoping to add more quality to his squad as he looks to topple City from the perch of English football, with attack being an area where the German is seeking reinforcements heading into the summer.
Liverpool have one of the most fearsome first-choice attacking trios in Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, who have scored 68 goals between themselves in all competitions in 2018-19. However, the Reds lack quality backup options to fill in their shoes when required.
Divock Origi has chipped in with a few important goals this past season, but cannot be considered a reliable option, while Xherdan Shaqiri has flitted in and out of the first-team in his debut campaign with Liverpool. And with Daniel Sturridge’s contract set to expire next month, signing a new forward will be imperative for the Merseyside giants.
In Pepe, they will be getting their hands on a quality player who is coming on the back of a sensational season. The 23-year-old, while being a consistent source of goals, has also displayed great versatility, having made a great impact playing in his natural role as a winger as well as a centre-forward, which would be a huge advantage for Liverpool.
Given the number of clubs that are chasing his signing, Liverpool needed to act fast if they are to capture the Ivorian. And as per Duncan Castles, the Reds have taken the first step towards getting their man by approaching Pepe’s representatives to discuss the cost of a potential transfer and the player’s interest in joining them.
Pepe is contracted to Lille till 2022, but the French heavyweights are resigned to losing him this summer. With the amount of interest that he has generated, we may very well have a bidding war on our hands for the 23-year-old and it remains to be seen if Liverpool are able to emerge victorious in that war.