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Manchester United in ‘advanced talks’ with Lille over the transfer of Nicolas Pepe, according to reports

Manchester United are reportedly in ‘advanced talks’ with Lille over the possibility of signing winger Nicolas Pepe this summer. It is stated that Premier League clubs Arsenal and Liverpool are also interested in the Ivory Coast winger with Everton also monitoring the situation. Arsenal might end up being priced out of the race if true.

The Times has suggested that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s club are in ‘advanced talks’ for Pepe whilst Liverpool are only ‘assessing Pepe’s willingness to join them’ this summer. The 24-year-old was named in the Ligue 1 team of the year based on his performances and the 22 goals he scored as Lille finished as runners-up to Paris Saint-Germain.

It is said that Solskjaer wants to add some width to his team this summer. Daniel James had already been signed but he plays as a left-winger and United need a player for the right-wing. Mason Greenwood has played in this position during pre-season and has done well but more experience in the squad would take the pressure off him.

Samir Khiat, the agent of Pepe has stated that the 24-year-old could move anywhere this summer. It is also stated that Paris Saint-Germain could be an option for the Ivorian, especially if they get rid of Neymar this summer, they will need a replacement. Obviously, there is just over a fortnight before the summer transfer window closes so United might need to act fast.

“Nicolas is open to everything. The aim is for him to sign in the right place. PSG is a possibility.

“Today, all parties need to reach an agreement. There are exchanges and discussions. He is wanted by a considerable number of clubs.

“For him the most important thing is to be wanted and to go to a good club in which he will play and continue to progress.”

United have played three times in pre-season so far; beating Perth Glory 2-0, Leeds United 4-0 and Inter Milan 1-0. Granted, the latest match was lacking quality to break through and case Inter problems, although United did have the majority of possession and pressed the Italian side for the majority of the game. It took Greenwood’s talent to break the deadlock.

Solskjaer may choose to play Anthony Martial as a central striker which could mean that James plays on the left the majority of the time. If United signed Pepe, or a player of similar ability, then the attack would be much stronger. Of course, Solskjaer may choose to give Greenwood the opportunity to make that position his own, based on the impact he has has so far in pre-season, which so far has led to him scoring two goals.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to revive Manchester United interest in Lille winger Nicolas Pepe – reports

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is reportedly going to revive the clubs interest in Lille winger Nicolas Pepe this summer. It is suggested that the Norwegian wants to have an ambitions squad ahead of the 2019/20 season. The 24-year-old Ivory Coast international is also a target for Liverpool, Paris Saint-Germain and Inter Milan.

It is also reported that Arsenal is also interested in the winger but with their low transfer budget and the fact the winger would cost around £70 million or more, they are unlikely to sign the Ivorian. It is suggested that Pepe would prefer a move to PSG, taking the place of Neymar, if he is to leave this summer.

However, it was reported by L’Equipe that Inter Milan has made an £80 million offer for the Lille winger which could start a bidding war, which is probably what Lille wants. It is said that Solskjaer would like the land the winger, who is currently playing for his country in the African Cup of Nations, playing 90 minutes earlier today in the 1-0 victory over South Africa.

Pepe has been linked to United already this summer but many months ago it was suggested that the player would only leave the French club for a club in the UEFA Champions League, which could be a problem for United. However, Eric Bailly, an international teammate of Pepe could be a figure that holds a key for United, in my opinion anyway, although other teams may have more to offer.

The 24-year-old played a total of 41 times for his club last season, playing in the Ligue 1, the Coupe de France and the Coupe de la Ligue, scoring 23 goals in all competitions, assisting a further 12 goals, playing 3,537 minutes of football for the French club who finished as runners-up to PSG, albeit 15 points behind them.

Solskjaer will have other targets as he looks to start his rebuild of United this summer. At this moment in time, United has signed one player; Daniel James, but have Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Bruno Fernandes still linked to the club. So far, this is not a summer transfer window that everyone expected but since when do things end up how they were expected? There is still time to sort out United’s transfer plans this summer.

If Manchester United has the chance to sign Nicolas Pepe they need to take it!

Lille forward Nicolas Pepe will be a wanted footballer during the summer transfer window. Manchester United have been credited with an interest in him some months ago and the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and Bayern Munich have all been looking at the player with the possibility of launching a move for him this summer.

The 23-year-old had a great season in France, making 41 appearances, scoring 23 goals and assisting a further 12 goals. He’s played a total of 3,537 minutes of football meaning that he averages a goal every 154 minutes. In the past week, it was reported by a number of newspapers that United had made contact with Lille ahead of a prospective move this summer. However, that might not be the truth.

The reported £70 million fee which Lille are said to be demanding might see the likes of Arsenal look for alternative targets, however, it may see them pay the money for the player with the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan seemingly likely to leave the club this summer. The player is contracted at Lille until the summer of 2022.

Lille manager Christophe Galtier has confirmed that the player will be leaving the club this summer, previously speaking to Canal+, which was reported by The Metro. There have also been quotes attributed by the manager on social media suggesting the same thing, although in a different way. Speaking to Canal+ a matter of days ago, Galtier said:

“Nicolas Pepe will leave. Life’s like that, football’s like that today.

“He is a player of the highest level who will have a big decision to make on the choice of his next club. There will be a battle between the great European teams.

“I hope that he will take good amount of time to think about it, do his research, like he did when he came here and when he decided to stay here (last summer), find the right project.”

It was suggested when United were first linked to the player that he would leave Lille for a club in the UEFA Champions League, which is not what United can offer next season, finishing sixth in the Premier League and qualifying for the group stages of the UEFA Europa League.

joie des joueurs de Lille apres le but de Nicolas Pepe (Losc) FOOTBALL : Lille vs Lyon – Ligue 1 Conforama – 01/12/2018 JBAutissier/Panoramic.

However, Galtier spoke about the player finding ‘the right project’. This made me think about the possibility of the player signing for a club in a rebuilding process. United are about to embark on yet another one but this time it will need to work. More than £700 million has been spent during the past six years but it has been spent badly.

United would be making a right move if they targeted a player such as Pepe. He is a left-footed right attacking midfielder who can also play as a right-winger (further upfield) and is also able to play as a right midfielder, presumably in a 4-4-2 or even a 4-3-3 formation. United has been lacking a player in this position for years now and it is time Ed Woodward got it sorted, especially as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to get the club back on the right track.

Manchester United target Nicolas Pepe tipped to join UEFA Champions League club, says Lille manager

Manchester United will no doubt be looking to strengthen their position in World and European football this summer which will start a new era at the Old Trafford club. A new manager will be brought in to manage the club, which currently is suggested to be Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, especially after ensuring the club made a U-turn, winning a string of matches and coming forward as a more attacking team since he took charge in December after the sacking of Jose Mourinho.

United’s executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward has previously suggested that alongside a new manager, the club will be seeking to appoint a director of football, which is also something that has been lacking at the club and could well be one of the reasons that they have never really stabilised since the days that the club was led by Sir Alex Ferguson. United really need to be brought into the modern age of football, making all the changes necessary to keep them competing as a football club, not just a business.

One of the positions that really need some fortification is on the wing. Currently, United have Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial, Alexis Sanchez, and to a point, Juan Mata who are experienced players that can play on the wing. The right-wing is a position that really needs some attention and has done for a number of years now. United have been linked to players, nothing forthcoming to solve the problems. Lingard has featured in this position under Solskjaer but is not the long-term solution for this position.

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One player who has been linked to the Old Trafford club is Nicolas Pepe of Lille. Of course, this does not mean that United are definitely looking to sign this player as most rumours are just that. However, it suggests that United have been seeking to strengthen the club in the positions they are lacking in, which means those in command at the club are aiming to do something about it, hopefully anyway.

Lille manager Christophe Galtier has spoken to L’Equipe about the possible departure of Pepe this summer, suggesting that he knows the player will leave the club, also suggesting that he should be leaving for a team in the UEFA Champions League, which of course, is not something United can guarantee just yet. Pepe has had an impressive start Lille’s Ligue One season, which has led to him being scouted by many clubs around Europe. Speaking to L’Equipe, which was reported by Bavarian Football Works, Galtier said:

“Nicolas Pépé is having a great season and will continue to progress. He has to go to a Champions League club. In my opinion, an intermediate step is not necessary [for him] to go as high as possible. I see him as good with a team that plays all in red and likes to put wingers on the side of their weaker feet. He reminds me of Bayern’s two wingers. Younger [Arjen] Robben had this ability to eliminate players, cut inside and be clever in front of goal. [Franck] Ribéry also had this ability.”

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This season, Pepe has played 26 times for Lille in the Ligue 1, amassing a total of 2,329 minutes of football, scoring 16 goals, assisting eight more. Looking at those figures, it means that Pepe has either scored or assisted a goal every 97 minutes, which suggests that he is a good prospect, despite the fact he is 23 years old. Pepe is a right-winger, which is what United need to recruit in the summer. Obviously, the club could blood youth into the team with Tahith Chong on the cusp of the first team.

Having Chong is great but if there is no experienced winger in the team, who plays on the right, is he going to learn from anyone in the squad? In my view, there always needs to be experienced in set positions in order for those up and coming players to find their feet. United do not have a fully experienced right-winger, other than the converted wingers that now play in fullback roles; Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young.

Pepe is very strong with through balls, which could see the likes of Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku, Anthony Martial and even the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Paul Pogba be fed to score or assist themselves. The 23-year-old also likes to take long shots, provides key passes for his teammates and dribbles well with the ball. Pepe does get fouled often, as most attacking players with pace do, however, he does not dive into tackles himself. If United are looking to strengthen this summer, Pepe could be a player of note for them.

copyright: JW