solskjaer hopes to make pepe his first signing

13:00    23 Feb 2019

Nicolas Pepe
Manchester United are reportedly keen on signing Lille OSC’s Ivorian attacker Nicolas Pepe.

According to France Football, caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will target the winger if he is appointed as the Red Devils’ permanent boss at the end of the season.

Pepe, 23, has greatly impressed for Lille this season, racking up 17 goals and 11 assists from 28 appearances across all competitions.

The French-born player, who has 10 caps for the Ivory Coast under his belt, joined Lille in 2017 and is contracted to the Ligue 1 club until June 2022. Transfermarkt estimates his value at €40million.

However, United are not the only team keen on Pepe, with Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona also linked with the Ivory Coast international.

The Spanish giants have stepped up their interest by sending Bojan Krkic Snr, who works as a scout for the club, on a lengthy assignment to France to watch the player in action.

Krkic was sent to France at the request of Barca sporting director Eric Abidal, who has also reportedly been in contact with Pepe’s camp to register interest.

Lille manager Christophe Galtier seems to be resigned to losing Pepe at the end of the season and insists the player is ready for the highest level of club football.

"Nicolas Pepe is having a great season and he will continue to improve," Galtier was quoted as saying by Metro.

"He has to go to a Champions League club, in my opinion, he does not need an intermediate step to go as high as possible."
 

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