Lille manager confirms reported Man United and Arsenal target will leave this summer

Reported Arsenal and Man United target Nicolas Pepe is set to leave Lille this summer, according to his manager

Unai Emery
Unai Emery (Photo: Screengrab)

Nicolas Pepe is set to leave Lille this summer amid reported interest from Arsenal and Manchester United, according to the club’s manager Christophe Galtier.

The Ivory Coast winger enjoyed an excellent season at the Ligue 1 club to earn a lot of interest from some of Europe’s most prestigious clubs.

Pepe scored 22 goals and made 11 assists in 37 games in the French top flight to finish as one of the leading goal-scorers in Ligue 1.

The 23-year-old was linked with a potential switch to Arsenal earlier in the season as Gunners boss Unai Emery looks to add pace to his team.

However, the Lille star’s end of season form alerted Arsenal’s bitter rivals Manchester United to the Ivorian forward.

Reports in April claimed that Manchester United and Liverpool FC were both interested in signing Pepe.

Lille manager Galtier has confirmed that Pepe is set to leave the French club ahead of the 2019-20 season.

“Nicolas Pepe will leave,” Galtier told Canal+, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News.

“Life’s like that, football’s like that today.

“He is a player of the highest level who will have a big decision to make on the choice of his next club.

“There will be a battle between the great European teams.

“I hope that he will take good amount of time to think about it, do his research.

“Like he did when he came here and when he decided to stay here [last summer], find the right project.”

Pepe has scored 33 goals in 65 games since his move to Lille from Angers in a €10m deal in June 2017.

Arsenal and Manchester United both endured disappointing seasons that culminated in finishes outside the top four.

However, Emery’s men still have a final opportunity to secure Champions League football next season if they can beat Chelsea FC in the Europa League final.

Arsenal reached the Baku showpiece thanks to victory over Valencia in the semi-finals.

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