Liverpool hold 'concrete discussions' over £72m target Jurgen Klopp 'adores'

LIVERPOOL face a wait to discover whether Nicolas Pepe is up for a move to Anfield.


Posted Wednesday, June 26, 2019 by Dailystar.co.uk

That is according to RMC Sport journalist Mohamed Bouhafsi, who claims Liverpool have held "very concrete discussions" with Lille over a potential deal.

Pepe is hot property after chipping in with 21 goal and 12 assists in all competitions last term.

Lille boss Christophe Galtier confirmed last month that the Ivory Coast international "will leave" in this transfer window.

Bouhafsi claims the 24-year-old is likely to delay a decision on his future until after the competition.

But Liverpool are not the only team interested in acquiring his services.

Bouhafsi told Get French Football News: "This is an €80m situation. So it is a situation that needs time and calm. What I can say is that there are very concrete discussions with Liverpool. Discussions that are not even denied by Lille, at Lille they don't deny the very concrete interest and discussions from and with Liverpool.

"Even Bayern Munich, I haven't checked in on this situation for a couple of days, but it is possible that other clubs have inserted themselves into the running.

Liverpool hold 'concrete discussions' over £72m target Jurgen Klopp 'adores'
Liverpool have held 'concrete discussions' over a swoop for Nicolas Pepe (Pic: GETTY)

"I know that one of my colleagues, Bilel Ghazi, who does an excellent job, who I want to congratulate because on top of that he is a very nice person at L'Équipe, speaks about Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan.

"I don't have any information on Atletico Madrid. For Inter Milan, I did speak about an unnamed 3rd club, following my exchanges on Nicolas Pepe and with Liverpool fans, and I think that this 3rd club could be Inter Milan. But I think that at €80m, this deal is too expensive for the Italian side.

"Then, I know that Jurgen Klopp adores Nicolas Pepe's profile, he brings a lot of speed and he is made to play in England, with quick transitions and an exceptional ability to counter-attack.

"Discussions have been had with Liverpool, who have a very profound interest.

"The other thing that I know is that Nicolas Pepe is at AFCON and wants a couple of days to make his decision.

"I don't know if you have been following but Liverpool is a club that often comes out to deny claims on transfers. Jürgen Klopp often talks about transfers and what isn't true (cites Lorenzo Insigne). Liverpool haven't denied (interest in Nicolas Pepe).

"I know that Bayern Munich are still following the situation closely, even if the Ivorian is not #1 on their shortlist. Their interest is still there like it was in winter.

"It is a situation that will decant in the coming days, or coming weeks, maybe just after AFCON. It needs time, because Nicolas Pepe is asking for time, and we have to respect the player's wishes, who wants to concentrate on his national team.

"And don't be surprised if other clubs dive into the race in the coming days, at Lille, I'm told that they are anticipating other Premier League clubs to get involved. It is not unthinkable."

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