Bayern Munich are hoping to finalise a deal for Lille striker Nicolas Pepe but will have to fend off interest from several top clubs to secure his services, according to reports.
Pepe, 23, has been on stunning form this season – netting 16 goals and adding a further eight assists in 27 Ligue 1 matches – and interest is hotting up in the forward.
Only Kylian Mbappe (18) has scored more league goals than Pepe this season and he has been outscored by just Lionel Messi (21) and Cristiano Ronaldo (17) in Europe’s top five leagues.
On Wednesday, Manchester United and Arsenal were told by Lille president Gerard Lopez they will have to pay €80million (£68.7m) if they want to sign the forward in the summer.
The Gunners have been regularly linked with the starlet, with United, PSG and Barcelona also reportedly interested.
According to the latest development, Bayern are now frontrunners for his signature, with Le10Sport reporting the German champions are hoping to finalise a deal in the near future.
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But securing a move away from France will not be easy, with Lille already rejecting bids worth €50million (£42,9m).
Asked if Pepe could stay at Lille for another season, Lille President, Gerard Lopez, told Canal Plus: “That does not just depend on the club. It also depends on the player.
“He deserves to play at the highest level. We have offers yes.
“In England, there are clubs. We have had offers worth €50m.
“We will not sell for less, we have even refused a €50m bid.
“We had an offer from China worth €80m with an astronomical salary, but he didn’t want to go.”
Meanwhile, Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is also keen on bringing Bastian Schweinsteiger back to the club in some capacity.
“Bayern is always interested to tie important former players to the club,” he told SportBild.
“For example, I would also like Bastian Schweinsteiger with us.”