Chelsea FC, Man City enter race to sign 23-year-old Ligue 1 star – report

Chelsea FC and Manchester City are both interested in Lille attacker Pepe, according to a report

Chelsea FC manager Maurizio Sarri Photo: Screen grab

Chelsea FC and Manchester City are set to battle it out for the signing of Lille star Pepe, according to a report in England.

The Times, as quoted by The Sun, is reporting that Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has taken note of Pepe’s performances in the French top flight.

The same article states that the Premier League leaders want to sign the 23-year-old to bolster their attacking options as they continue to compete on four fronts.

According to the same story, the Citizens are keen to add an attacking talent to their squad due to a number of issues with Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling.

Sane is thought to be unhappy with a lack of playing time this term, while Sterling has still to put pen to paper on a new contract at The Etihad.

The Sun go on to quote Telefoot, who are reporting that Chelsea FC are also interested in a deal to sign the Lille attacker.

The French media outlet believe Maurizio Sarri views Pepe as a potential replacement for Brazil international Willian, who is being linked with an exit.

Pepe has scored eight times and has made seven assists in 11 games in Ligue 1 this season, becoming one of the standout players in the French top flight this term.

The Ivory Coast international moved to Lille from Angers in 2015 and the 23-year-old has scored 19 goals in 43 games for the French club.

Chelsea FC have previously signed another precocious talent from Lille after the Blues won the race to recruit Eden Hazard in 2012, seeing off competition from Manchester City and Manchester United.

The Blues will welcome the Premier League leaders to Stamford Bridge in a top of the table meeting on 8 December.

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