Liverpool are in talks to sign Ivorian and Lille winger Nicolas Pepe, that’s the claim of Lille president Gerard Lopez, per reports.
The Reds are yet to sign a player in this summer but Pepe has featured prominently on their transfer radar.
The Ivorian attacker was linked with a move to the Premier League last summer but he stayed put with the Ligue One outfit. He enjoyed a very impressive season last term where he scored 22 goals in 38 league games and he has earned the attraction of top clubs in England.
Currently at the African cup of nations, it is widely believed the 24-year-old wants to call time on his spell with Lille but he wants to stake a claim in the first team of the Reds. While PSG are keen on signing him as well, Lopez has explicitly stated that Liverpool have held talks to sign the star.
But he further claimed Pepe will consider joining Liverpool only if they offload one of the players in his position.
He told rmcsport: “I know there have been discussions with the player but not with us as a club, Liverpool has players in his position, and I read that he could go there if players leave. I am not particularly focused on Liverpool. But it is true that there have been discussions with agents.
“We had two offers before the African Cup of Nations, we’ll see after that, my position was to see if we could not do something before it, we had two proposals before it, I had two clubs.
Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firminho, and Xherdan Shaqiri have all thrived on the flanks. It will take Pepe a consistently barnstorming display to be able to get into the first team of the Reds, which may see him join another club.
“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.
These Two Liverpool Transfer Targets Can’t Stop Scoring For Respective Clubs
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is definitely a happy man after seeing his men thrashed Manchester City 3-1 at Anfield on Sunday.
The victory ensured that the Reds are unbeaten so far this season and they have extended an eight-point lead at the top of the League standings with 34 points while second-place Leicester City have 26 points.
Despite the fact that the Reds attackers continue to find the back of the net on a regular basis, Klopp is reportedly keen on adding two in-form strikers to his team in January.
RB Leipzig’s star Timo Werner and RB Salzburg’s wonderkid Erling Haaland are in the manager’s wish-list ahead of the upcoming transaction period.
Coincidentally, both players scored at least two goals to help their respective clubs recorded a massive victory during the weekend.
Germany international Werner, scored a brace as Leipzig registered a 4-2 win over Hertha BSC on Saturday.
As for Erling Haaland who is being chased by 15 clubs, the Norwegian star scored three goals against Wolfsberger AC as Salzburg recorded 3-0 victory Sunday’s Austrian League fixture.
Manchester United are also interested in the two players as Solskjaer wants to add more threat to his team’s attacking prowess in the winter.
The two Premier League giants are expected to compete with other European clubs for both players as soon as the next transfer market reopens.