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Liverpool Have Stepped Up Their Interest In £71m Rated Ligue One Ace

Liverpool have “moved up a gear” in their pursuit of Lille winger Nicolas Pepe, according to L’Equipe.

The Reds are apparently very close to matching the Ivorian international’s €80m (£71m) asking price as they begin their summer recruitment drive.

Pepe does have other potential suitors, though, with Inter Milan having already had a €70m bid rejected previously.

Fellow Champions League finalists Tottenham are also believed to be on the 23-year-old’s trail and could look to make a bid this summer.

Previous reports have also claimed that the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea have scouted Pepe after a superb season in Ligue One.

The winger scored 23 goals and provided 12 assists in 41 appearances for Lille last campaign attracting interest from right across Europe.

The French club’s president Gerard Lopez has already confirmed that Pepe will likely leave this summer as they cannot compete with his wage demands. He said last month:

“This is not a secret: we have many approaches to Nicolas Pepe and we will never be able to match the salary he may have elsewhere. It is clear that he will go to a big club.”