AC Milan are looking at signing Lille star Nicolas Pepe should a summer move for Allan Saint-Maximin fall through, a report claims.
The 23-year-old forward has been strongly tipped to move to one of Europe’s big hitters, with Barcelona, Bayern Munich and PSG linked – as well as Liverpool and Arsenal.
It would appear that the talented attacker, who has scored 16 goals and has eight assists in 27 games this season, could be on the move.
Lille coach Christophe Galtier recently hinted that there is a strong chance Pepe will leave the club this summer.
He said: “It’s difficult to keep these type of players in out league. When the biggest clubs in Europe call you, it’s really complicated.
“If Nicolas keeps going like this and improves his statistics by the end of the season, he will be on the shortlist of all of Europe’s big clubs.
“The player’s desire is also important. I am sure that, if the moment comes, everything will be very transparent. We will all try to find the best solution possible.”
Now, foxsport.it (via MilanNews.it) has provided an update, claiming that OGC Nice winger Saint-Maximin is still Milan’s priority for next season, but that alternative options have been lined up.
Brazilian starlet Everton from Gremio is one possible target, as is Watford’s Gerard Deulofeu, but Lille star Pepe is now on the shopping list too.
Lille president Gerard Lopez recently suggested that he will demand €80million to part with the star winger – who has 26 combined goals and assists in the league so far this season.
“That does not just depend on the club. It also depends on the player,” he told Canal+ (via TEAMtalk) on Pepe’s future.
“He deserves to play at the highest level. We have offers yes. In England, there are clubs. We have had offers worth €50m. We will not sell for less, we have even refused a €50m bid.
“We had an offer from China worth €80m with an astronomical salary, but he didn’t want to go.”