LIVERPOOL are set to battle Premier League rivals Arsenal and Chelsea for Lille winger Nicolas Pepe, according to reports.
The Ivory Coast star, 23, is wanted by some of Europe’s biggest clubs and is sure to be the subject of an intense bidding war.
It is understood the French club could demand a fee of at least £69million for Pepe.
And according to Le10 Sport, the Anfield side have contacted Lille about a potential transfer.
And it is no wonder Pepe is in high demand.
He has lit up Ligue 1 this season with a staggering 19 goals and 13 assists in 33 appearances.
The winger grabbed a goal and two assists in the 5-1 hammering of Paris Saint-Germain last week.
But he could not inspire his side to victory against Toulouse yesterday which meant PSG were mathematically crowned champions for the sixth time in seven seasons.
Lille have become resigned to the fact they are likely to lose their star man this summer.
It is sure Pepe will leave. He enters a price range that can no longer be paid.
Lille President Gerard Lopez
President Gerard Lopez told Telefoot: “Four or five players will be leaving this summer.
“All clubs are forced to balance their accounts except perhaps one. I would say yes, it is sure he [Pepe] will leave.
“He enters a price range that can no longer be paid. There is a career choice to make for him, I think he will have the choice.”
But Liverpool will face an intense battle if they are to land the Ivorian.
As well as Chelsea and Arsenal, Bayern Munich are very interested in signing Pepe and had scouts in attendance as he tore PSG apart.
The Bavarians are understood to be in “pole position” to land him – and he would be expected to help fill the vacated boots of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.
Latest transfer news
If Liverpool do not get Pepe, they may try and sign Bayer Leverkusen star Juliant Brandt.
He is understood to have a £21.5m release clause if Bayer fail to qualify for the Champions League and could provide good competition and strength to the forward line for Jurgen Klopp.
But the Reds boss may be forced into trying to sign both Pepe and Brandt if the sensational reports from Spain that Mohamed Salah wants to quit the club for Real Madrid materialise.