MANCHESTER UNITED are in advanced talks with Lille over a £70million deal for in-demand Nicolas Pepe.
The Gunners look set to be priced out with United now seemingly leading the race to sign the Ivorian.
And according to The Times, Man Utd are in “advanced talks”, while Liverpool are only “assessing Pepe’s willingness to join them”.
Pepe, 24, was named in the Ligue 1 Team of the Year for 2018-19, scoring 22 goals as his Lille side finished second in the French top flight.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been in desperate need of some width since taking over at Old Trafford.
Having signed Daniel James, who plays more on the left-flank, Pepe would provide the perfect foil for the front-three, cutting in from the right on his left foot.
However, United may be reliant on selling first and are still hoping Inter Milan can get their proposed move for Romelu Lukaku over the line.
Solskjaer is keen to recoup the full £75m spent on the Belgian in 2017, but Antonio Conte’s Inter bid just £54m earlier this weekend.
United, of course, are still hoping to offload £150m-rated Paul Pogba to help fund their summer swoops.
As well as Pepe, Solskjaer wants to bring in THREE Juventus stars in Joao Cancelo, Blaise Matuidi and Douglas Costa.
Merih Demiral, a fourth Juve player, is being considered too, as a cheaper alternative to Harry Maguire.
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But for now the focus is Pepe, with the Lille star’s agent, Samir Khiat, claiming he could move anywhere – with Paris Saint-Germain also in the running.
Khiat said: “Nicolas is open to everything. The aim is for him to sign in the right place. PSG is a possibility.
“Today, all parties need to reach an agreement. There are exchanges and discussions. He is wanted by a considerable number of clubs.
“For him the most important thing is to be wanted and to go to a good club in which he will play and continue to progress.”