We never especially bought into the idea that Liverpool were moving for Lille attacking star Nicolas Pepe as part of a major summer overhaul, but for a few weeks there every report out of France seemed convinced at the fact.
And more than a few Reds fans were eager to believe—minus the bit where the Reds were going to sell Mo Salah and Sadio Mané to make room, obviously. In any case, though, it seems those French reports have now caught up with us.
After claiming Liverpool were frontrunners, now 24-year-old Pepe is simply a player the Reds and Jürgen Klopp admire but that they haven’t shown an indication of moving for according to the latest from L’Equipe.
Instead, the battle is between previously connected Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid—potentially the mystery third club meant to be interested back when all the stories were talking up Liverpool as a potential destination.
Plus, the supposed fee it would take to get the player is now €90M, up from the €70M Lille were said to be asking for previously. As good as Pepe is, that’s an awful lot for a player who has had one truly standout season in the French league.
Nicolas Pepe is a good player. He would be a strong fourth choice forward for the Reds, but he wouldn’t replace one of the current front three, so we here at TLO are happy to see the French rumours moving on from any idea he might.