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26th Apr 2019

Liverpool target Nicolas Pépé outlines specific demands before transfer decision

Kyle Picknell

The Lille forward has one interesting requirement before he decides to move

Lille winger Nicolas Pépé has been subject to a series of transfer rumours this season after a scintillating run of form for Les Dogues, who currently sit in second place in Ligue 1.

Pépé, who has scored 19 goals and 11 assists in 33 appearances in all competitions, has apparently submitted a very detailed list of criteria in response to increased speculation that he will leave the French club come the end of the season.

PSG, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan and Liverpool have all been linked to the Ivorian and it appears that the Merseyside club, in particular, meet the 23-year-old’s requirements – which include having an overlapping fullback on his flank.

L’Equipe have also reported that the Serie A giants Inter have been the first to submit a formal bid for the forward, amounting to €70 million (roughly £60 million).

However, whether the Nerazzurri actually pass Pépé’s special criteria remains to be seen. He has clarified that he will only be making a decision on his future after May 5 and will take into account “the technical and tactical project on offer by clubs”, according to Get French Football News.

Pépé has also reportedly stated that given Lille’s league position, which will see them either finish 2nd or 3rd (their highest league finish since 2011 when they were crowned champions), he will only move for the Champions League football he would be playing next season anyway.

Sorry about that, any two of Chelsea/Arsenal/Manchester United.

Perhaps the most surreal aspect of the player’s demands is his need for a fullback who constantly overlaps on his flank, drawing players away so he has the necessary room in which to operate.

Whilst he is quite clearly a very good player, he isn’t exactly Lionel Messi, and making this kind of ultimatum to clubs as big and as reputable as those interested in him can only really backfire.

That being said, Trent Alexander-Arnold is surely a bit of what he is looking for rather than someone like the technically limited Danilo D’Ambrosio or indeed, an ageing Dani Alves.

And if Liverpool actually need to prioritise another tricky, pacey forward to play alongside Mane, Firmino and Salah over other positions is another question entirely.