Deal On: Liverpool open talks to complete transfer of £75m-rated forward

Liverpool have reportedly moved to the front of the queue in the race to sign Nicolas Pepe after making a formal enquiry about the Lille forward.

The Ivory Coast international’s agent confirmed at the weekend that a number of clubs have shown an interest in the £75m-rated attacker.

Arsenal are considered long-term admirers of Pepe and Chelsea see him as a possible replacement for Eden Hazard, while Bayern Munich and Manchester United have also been touted as possible suitors.

French outlet Le10 Sport suggests that Liverpool have stolen a march on each of their rivals, however, as they have established contact with Lille about the 23-year-old.

Pepe has scored 19 times and provided 11 assists in 32 Ligue 1 matches this season, becoming the first player in the division to reach double figures for both.