Lopez again opens the door for Lille star Pepe to depart

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Lille president Gerard Lopez has reiterated that Nicolas Pepe will leave in the summer because they now 'can not afford' to keep him.

Lille president Gerard Lopez has reiterated that Nicolas Pepe will leave in the summer because they now ‘can not afford’ to keep him.

 

The 23-year-old Ivory Coast international winger has been heavily linked with a move to one of Europe’s top clubs at the end of this season, with reports last month claiming Bayern Munich were close to agreeing a deal.

Arsenal are another club interested, although the Londoners would need to qualify for the Champions League next season to have a better chance of luring Pepe to the Premier League.

Lopez has made no secret of his willingness to let his star man depart for around 50 million euros and he is now convinced that Pepe will be at another club before the start of next season.

Speaking after Pepe scored in Sunday’s 5-1 surprise thrashing of Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain, to take his tally for the season to 19 goals in 32 Ligue 1 appearances, Lopez said: “It is certain, he will leave.

“He has moved into a price range that we can not afford anymore.

“There is a career choice to make for him, I think he will have the choice.”

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