Manchester United have made progress in talks with French club Lille for winger Nicole Pepe, according to The Times (via The Metro)
Pepe is currently on holiday after his excursions at this summer’s African Cup of Nations tournament.
The links with Pepe suggest Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to add to his attack for next season, despite the addition of Wales international Daniel James, who was signed from Swansea for £15m.
Manchester United have also been linked with attacker Wissam Ben Yedder, who has been labelled the most likely target, should the club sell Lukaku this summer, by Spanish outlet Estadio Deportivo (via Sport Witness).
Still, on the face of it, the links would be perplexing after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s public backing of Anthony Martial. The Norwegian gave a press conference after the victory of Leeds United promising Manchester United fans they would see a ‘new’ Martial next season.
With Daniel James already having joined the club, and Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard proving successful at times in Solskjaer’s attacking system, would a move for Pepe be justified? Marcus Rashford can also operate on the wing too, as he has done many times for the Red Devils.
Spending £70m plus on a winger would suggest that said winger would come in to start immediately. However, given the options Manchester United currently have, it would be hard to make a case for Pepe to start ahead of Martial or Lingard.
Martial, despite criticism last season, still managed to amass 12 goals and three assists in all competitions last season. Meanwhile, Lingard played a crucial role in a key victory under Solskjaer against Tottenham Hotspur last season, showing his worth in the Norwegian’s style of play.
It’s hard to deny Pepe’s quality after a strong season for Lille but, given the fact that Martial has been praised by his manager and James has been signed, the kind of money involved to buy him would perhaps be better spent elsewhere.
Is there a place for Pepe in the squad? Join the discussion by commenting below…
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience