Arsenal face Premier League competition in hunt for 23-year-old Lille OSC ace
According to French publication Telefoot (via le10sport), Manchester United are supposedly set to rival Arsenal in the hunt for Lille OSC’s 23-year-old ace Nicolas Pepe, who has set Ligue 1 alight at the start of the 2018-19 campaign.
The Gunners emerged as a potential suitor at the beginning of September and appeared to be in pole position for a January raid. Although now that the Red Devils are allegedly monitoring his development at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy, a hotly contested tug-of-war could ensue in the new year if the two parties are indeed serious in their respective pursuits of the productive Ivorian winger.
Pepe has hit the ground running domestically for Lille. During Les Dogues’ encounter against SC Amiens on Saturday, the illusive attacker netted a hattrick to gift his employers a hard-fought 3-2 victory away from home, a trio of superb strikes that took his overall tally to 4 goals in 5 league meetings.
The inventive flanker, as prolific as he is in front of the target, is also a studied supplier of opportunities having consummately provided his teammates with 3 assists to date, a record which undoubtedly proves his worth and dexterity in the offensive third of the pitch.
Before the north-Londoners emerged as an interested suitor, it’s thought that Pepe could have been plying his flourishing trade for fellow French counterparts Olympique Lyonnais, and though Lille reportedly accepted a £27m bid from Les Gones, the former SCO Angers weapon opted to stay put in Hauts-de-France until further notice.