Liverpool have experienced a surprise blow in their chase of Lille star Nicolas Pepe, with France Football stating that Atletico Madrid have made the winger their priority signing this summer.
The report says that Diego Simeone has made Pepe their chief target in the wake of Antoine Griezmann’s expected departure, although they face strong competition from Inter Milan.
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Inter have improved their offer of €60m to €90m plus bonuses, which may be tricky for Les Dogues to refuse.
Despite talks a few weeks back that the Reds had tendered an official offer for Pepe’s services, there remains no mention of Liverpool in the latest update and their interest seems to have reduced.
Lille boss Christophe Galtier confirmed a month back that Pepe would depart the club this summer, with there set to be “a battle between the great European teams” for his signature; this now appears to be limited to Atletico and Inter.
Pepe dazzled last season with his impressive displays, managing to net 22 goals and provide 11 assists in Ligue 1, which has seen his stock rise dramatically.
Skilful with the ball at his feet, with thunderbolt pace and a clinical finisher, Pepe would have added an extra attacking dimension to Jurgen Klopp’s squad, yet it now seems that the 24-year-old’s future lies elsewhere.
This article was most recently revised and updated 4 years ago