Club president confirms transfer of £70m Liverpool target is “almost done”

Lille president Gerard Lopez has revealed that Nicolas Pepe’s future has ‘almost’ been decided amid strong interest from Manchester United and Liverpool.

Pepe is one of the most sought-after players in Europe after scoring 22 goals in Ligue 1 last season and Lille have slapped a £70million price tag on the 24-year-old forward.

Liverpool and Arsenal have both submitted concrete offers for Pepe this summer and reports this week claim United have held advanced talks to sign the Ivory Coast international.

With Romelu Lukaku potentially on his way to Inter Milan in the coming weeks, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has identified Pepe as a possible option to replace the Belgian attacker.

Asked about Pepe’s future, Lille president Lopez told La Voix du Nord: ‘In terms of departures and arrivals, if a player leaves, we will go and get what we need.

‘For Nico, it is almost done and he could have left last summer. ‘It is true that there are big offers and big clubs in for him, so I think [he will leave]. Aside from that, you never know in football.’

Earlier this month, Lopez confirmed that Liverpool had held discussions to sign Pepe.

‘I know there have been discussions with the player, not with us as a club,’ he told RMC Sport.

‘Liverpool have players in those positions and I read that maybe there were players who could leave, or not.

‘I am not particularly focused on Liverpool. But it is true that there have been discussions with agents.’