Manchester United Aim To Beat Rivals To Lille Winger’s Signature

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Manchester United are ready to battle Premier League rivals Arsenal for the signature of Lille winger Nicolas Pepe, 23, according to the Manchester Evening News.

With the new head of football Raul Sanllehi at the helm, the Gunners are already eyeing targets for both 2019 transfer windows. Pepe is one of those identified with Arsenal already contacting both Lille and the player’s representatives to test the water over a move.

United are also monitoring Pepe, with scouts watching the Ivory Coast international. An impressive return of eight assists and 18 goals in 43 club matches marks out Pepe as a talented wide forward. That is underlined by three goals in his opening eight matches for his country.

The Premier League giants aren’t the first clubs to show an interest in him. Sevilla and Southampton both tracked him last season with the Saints £12.5m bid rejected by the Ligue Un club in the summer.

With United currently well-stocked in the wide areas, their interest in Pepe is sure to fan the flames of what is already intense speculation over the future of England international Marcus Rashford.

It is understood that the Red Devils will listen to offers next summer for the 20-year-old with plenty of pundits – Jamie Carragher among the most prominent – suggesting he needs to leave Old Trafford for the good of his career.