Nicolas Pepe will leave Lille this summer after manager Christophe Galtier confirmed there would be a ‘battle between the great European teams’ for the forward.
Pepe has shot to prominence after scoring 22 goals and providing 11 assists in Ligue 1 this season.
Liverpool are reportedly leading the race for his signature, but Manchester United and Arsenal have also retained an interest in the 23-year-old.
Having joined Lille in 2017 for around £10million, it now seems inevitable after his manager revealed the club were powerless to stop him moving on.
“Nicolas Pepe will leave. Life’s like that, football’s like that today,” Galtier is quoted by the Mail.
“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.”
Les Dogues have provided several huge clubs over Europe with some of their best players.
For instance, Dmitri Payet, Eden Hazard and Yohan Cabaye have all honed their skills in the north-west of France.
And Lille president, Gerard Lopez, says it’s almost certain Pepe will follow in their footsteps this summer.
Who is Nicolas Pepe? Everything you need to know about the Lille forward
“Four or five players will be leaving this summer,” he said.
“All clubs are forced to balance their accounts except perhaps one. I would say yes, it is sure he [Pepe] will leave.
“He enters a price range that can no longer be paid. There is a career choice to make for him, I think he will have the choice.”