Everton Set to Rival Liverpool in Race to Sign £59m-Rated Lille Forward Nicolas Pepe

​Everton have joined the race to sign highly-rated Lille forward Nicolas Pepe, who has also been continually linked with a move to Liverpool. Pepe enjoyed a stellar 2018/19 campaign in France, where he registered an impressive tally of 22 goals in Ligue 1 – only being outscored by Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe.  As a result, the Ivorian forward looks set for a big-money move this summer and, according to ​The Telegraph, ​Everton are the latest club to express an interest in the 24-year-old. Pepe is said to be one of a number of potential candidates being lined up by Marco Silva, who is looking for a left-footed attacker capable of playing on the right-hand side of a forward line. Alongside Pepe, the Toffees are also considering potential moves for Bertrand Traore and Malcom, who would both be cheaper alternatives. Any prospective deal for Pepe will be put on hold while he remains on international duty with Ivory Coast, who are set to compete in the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations later this week. Lille president Gerard Lopez previously revealed that the Ligue 1 outfit had received two bids from unnamed clubs prior to his involvement at AFCON – also claiming that ​Liverpool have been in contact with the player himself. “We had two offers before the Africa Cup of Nations, we’ll see after that,” he told ​RMC Sport. “I know there have been discussions with the player but not with us as a club, Liverpool has players in his position, and I read that he could go there if players leave. I am not particularly focused on Liverpool. But it is true that there have been discussions with agents.”

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