Ah, transfer season, you treacherous so and-so! No sooner has a writer sat down to report the latest in big money rumour mongering than a second, more reliable source will pop up and refute the whole thing, forcing a last-second rewrite. It’s enough to make your head spin, or at the very least shake ever so slightly in annoyance.
That is the situation in the Twittersphere at the moment, specifically in the case of Liverpool’s supposed interest in Lille’s Nicolas Pépé. Get French Football correspondent Mohamed Bouhafsi today reported that “very concrete discussions” were taking place between the Reds and Les Dogues for the Ivorian wide man, battling Inter and an unnamed third club for the signature of a player “Jürgen Klopp loves”.
Pépé is one of the hottest commodities on the market this summer, Liverpool likely want to beef up their frontline depth with a pacy wide attacker, and Lille are willing sellers, meaning that — €80m price tag aside — the dots connect easily enough, on paper at least, but reports of concrete discussions are a new development.
One that journalists connected with the club deny outright. Melissa Reddy, always possessing that sweet, sweet inside information took to ESPN and Twitter tonight and, well...
#LFC call info they've had talks with Lille over Nicolas Pepe "pure lies."— Melissa Reddy (@MelissaReddy_) June 25, 2019
No meetings/discussions of any sort have taken place. Michael Edwards personally got in touch with Lille manager Christophe Galtier earlier this month to say there's "zero interest"https://t.co/azMX3Qru1y
So that’s pretty definitive then. The zero interest bit is somewhat surprising, given Pépé’s undeniable fit for Liverpool’s wants, but the price tag was always going to be excessive for a squad player. At any rate, it likely won’t be long before the rumour mongerers dredge this one back up in a bid to fill column inches, and when they do, you’ll know exactly where to file it.