Manchester United have begun talks to sign £70m-rated Ivorien and Lille winger Nicolas Pepe, according to reports.
After failing to lead United to Champions league qualifications, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is expected to bolster his squad ahead of next season. While it is expected that the Norwegian boss will be supported in the transfer window financially, he would be actively involved in the market this season.
Pepe who moved to Lille in the summer of 2017 has become one of the best players in the club. He scored 23 goals and provided 12 assists in 41 appearances for club in all competitions this season and his barnstorming display has caught the attention of the clubs in England.
Arsenal were thought to be interested in the star but Duncan Castles, who works for the Daily record has claimed Liverpool have made the first move to sign the 23-year-old star. However, hes added that the Ivorian star is wanted by United, who have begun talks with the representative of the player.
“From what I’ve been told, Liverpool have been in contact with Pepe’s agent to discuss a deal, his interest in coming and what is would cost to come. Lille are aware of this and are waiting for a bid.” Castle said on Transfer window podcast.
“Manchester United have inquired directly to Lille about what the transfer fee would be. PSG also have an interest in Pepe. Lille have been very clear he’s available for sale and the asking price is €80m (£70m). They would love to have a bid come in from Liverpool and United to get an auction going.”
Lukaku is a subject of bid from Italian clubs and if he’s sold, Rashford would be made the point man for United, leaving space for Pepe.
Meanwhile, Liverpool are expected to bolster their squad but Pepe may not get into Klopp’s first team.
Klopp Reveals Plans For Unhappy Midfielder Who Could Be Out Of Anfield Next Year
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has assured last season’s acquisition Xherdan Shaqiri that he will get more game time this season amid unending transfer reports linking him with a move away from Anfield.
The Switzerland international hasn’t been a regular player for the Reds this season due to his long-term injury problems. He has seen only 25 minutes of action this term and he continually face intense competition for a place in the starting lineup.
The former Stoke City winger recently returned from a five-week injury problem but it was reported during the week that he could be heading towards the club’s exit door in January.
Speaking concerning the Swiss’ future at the Merseyside club, Klopp reaffirmed his commitment towards ensuring that all of his players — including Shaqiri — get quality game-time during the busy period.
According to Klopp, Shaqiri needs to be fully fit if he must feature regularly for the team in January.
“All good, the most intense period is coming so he will be ready for that hopefully if nothing happens again and you will see him on the pitch, 100%.” he said
Meanwhile, Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus has heaped massive praise on Liverpool striker Mohammed Salah.
The City striker reportedly showered praise on the Egyptian striker for his goalscoring prowess which helped him won last season’s Premier League Golden shoe alongside team-mate Sadio Mane and Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
“The reality is that very few clubs could afford either of them”
Mohammed Salah and Sadio Mane continue to be sources of transfer speculations as both players are linked with moves to two La Liga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively.
Senegalese winger Mane was reportedly targeted by Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane last summer but the Frenchman failed to lure the player to the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
In the same vein, the Reds were able to prevent Barcelona’s interest in Mohammed Salah from materializing prior to the start of this season.
Following their inability to prise both players out of Anfield, reports claimed that the two La Liga rivals aren’t giving up in the mission to get their transfer targets.
Reacting to the rumors linking the two African stars out of the Merseyside club, football expert and writer James Pearce said Klopp won’t sanction the release of both players anytime soon.
According to the The Athletic’s football writer, Mane and Salah recently signed new contracts with the Reds, which makes it very unlikely to see them depart Anfield next season.
He believes the players are in their best form and Klopp can’t afford to release such integral part of his squad in the next summer transfer window.
“Both Salah and Mane signed new deals not long ago with no release clauses. They are coming into their prime and LFC will have no interest in selling them.
“The reality is that very few clubs could afford either of them. They are both £150m players.” he said.
Both players were last season’s joint top scorer, alongside Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as they scored 22 goals.
Manchester United ready to break the bank for two in-demand U-20 Players In January
It will be unfair to say that Manchester United’s attack hasn’t improved since the return of Anthony Martial from injury, but that won’t stop Solskjaer from adding more firepower to his front-line in January.
The manager has already revealed his desire to sign one or two ‘right’ players in the next transfer window, but it is yet to be seen who are the perfect player he’s referring to.
In the meantime, British media The Mirror are suggesting that two attack-minded players — Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland — are topping the manager’s transfer wishlist ahead of the winter transfer window.
Both players have been awe-inspiring for their respective clubs and their performances have attracted Solskjaer’s attention.
Sancho, 19, has become an integral part of Borussia Dortmund since he left Manchester City two seasons ago but he could return to the English League sooner than expected.
The lively winger is heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford and the Mirror revealed that the Red Devils have set aside a huge £100m to get him amid interest from Real Madrid, Liverpool and Barcelona.
The same source also claimed that RB Salzburg in-form striker is second on Solskjaer’s list and the manager is read to spend at least £85m on his compatriot.
Haaland’s fame is on the rise due to his exploits for his Austrian side this season, and Solskjaer is expected to convince the youngster — who has scored 26 goals in all competitions this season — into signing for the Red Devils in January or in the summer.