Arsenal receive huge boost in their pursuit of Ligue 1 star valued at £72m

Ligue 1 side LOSC Lille coach Christophe Galtier thinks Nicolas Pepe is prepared to join a top Champions League side in the summer.

Nicolas has had a barnstorming campaign for his side, netting 16 goals in all competitions, and Europe’s top sides are reportedly queueing up to land the 23-year-old star ahead of the 2019/20 season.

Niko Kovac’s Bayern Munich hold a serious interest in Pepe and Premier League heavyweights Arsenal and Manchester United are also keeping a close eye on the sought-after Ivory Coast international.

However, LOSC Lille are demanding of a sum of at least €80 million (£72 million) for Nicolas which could put off potential suitors.

Asked about the speculations surrounding the star’s future, the boss Galtier replied: ‘He has to go to a Champions League club. In my opinion, he does not need an intermediate step to go as high as possible.’

Galtier added that he predicts Pepe playing for a team in red. But this doesn’t precisely narrow it down seeing as LOSC Lille, Bayern Munich, Arsenal and Manchester United all wear the colour red.

With the club sitting second in the Ligue 1 standings, there’s every chance Les Dogues could qualify for next campaign’s Champions League. ‘I can see him well in a team that plays in red,’ Christophe said.

Former Red Devils manager Jose Mourinho praised Nicolas after an impressive start to the campaign for the youngster.

‘Lille, we can say that it is the team feeling of the championship,’ the former Red Devils coach said earlier this week.