July 21, 2019
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
“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.