Every summer has its players who are linked obsessively with Liverpool over the course of the transfer window. Jürgen Klopp is in need of an offensive backup who can effectively slot in for Roberto Firmino when necessary and generally compete with Liverpool’s attacking players for selection. There have been several names that pop up regularly but Lille’s Nicolas Pépé has been more heavily linked than most.
Pépé appears to fit the requirements and to be imbued with the characteristics required to excel in Klopp’s system. Liverpool have denied any interest in the player all along. Still, the rumours of a move to Anfield continue.
L’Equipe in France have now suggested that four clubs have finally made concrete moves for the Lille forward. Liverpool are said to be among them with Arsenal, Napoli, and AC Milan completing the set.
Lille’s president Gerard Lopez made a statement claiming that he was satisfied with the offers he has received from four clubs and suggested that Pépé’s future will be decided next week after the player returns from Lille’s pre-season tour.
“We received offers that satisfy us economically from four big clubs,” said Lopez.
“[Napoli chairman Aurelio] De Laurentiis has satisfied our request for €80m. Now it is up to the player to decide where he wants to go.
“He must make that decision based on the offers that his agents have received from the four clubs. On Monday, Pepe will return from vacation and I believe that by the middle of the week he will have made a decision.”
To be in the race for the Ivory Coast international, Liverpool will have submitted a bid worth around £72million. It’s within the realm of possibility but so far the message coming from the Reds’ home office remains the same: Liverpool are not interested in signing Nicolas Pépé. Smoke and mirrors?
At the very least, it sounds like there’s chance this whole saga ends in the next seven days. But don’t hold your breath.