Man Utd plotting another attacking transfer as Solskjaer eyes Arsenal and Liverpool target | Football | Sport


That’s according to the London Evening Standard.

James was officially unveiled as a Manchester United player on Thursday morning having penned a five-year contract to join from Swansea City.

The Welsh winger, 21, scored six times and added seven assists for the Swans in the Championship last year and gives Ole Gunnar Solskjaer added options out wide.

The Man United boss also has Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard, Alexis Sanchez – although the Chilean could leave Old Trafford this summer – and Juan Mata, who has been offered a contract extension with his deal expiring this summer, who can play out wide.

But according to the Evening Standard, the Norwegian wants to add to his options and Nicolas Pepe of Lille has been watched by United scouts.

Pepe has been linked with Premier League rivals Liverpool and Arsenal already this summer.

The 24-year-old forward managed 23 goals and 12 assists in 41 matches across all competitions in 2018-19 as Lille finished second to Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1.

Ivory Coast international Pepe is widely expected to depart Les Dogues this summer, with the player tipped to command a fee in the region of £70m.

Lille manager Christophe Galtier admitted last month: “Pepe will leave [this summer]. Life’s like that, football’s like that today.

“He is a player of the highest level who will have a big decision to make on the choice of his next club. 

“There will be a battle between the great European teams.

“I hope that he will take a good amount of time to think about it, do his research, like he did when he came here and when he decided to stay here [last summer], find the right project.”

Right-sided forward Pepe’s form for Lille over the past few seasons has also seen him rumoured to be in Bayern Munich’s crosshairs with the Bundesliga champions keen to recruit out wide after letting both Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben leave.

According to Duncan Castles, speaking on the Transfer Window podcast, Lille would “love” for multiple clubs to getting into a bidding war for the player.

“Their asking price has been €80m and they would love to have a bid come in from Liverpool, love to have a bid come in from Manchester United. They’d love to get an auction going for the player,” Castles said.

“They’re aware of the interest there and they’re hoping that Liverpool will make that concrete.

“Then it would be a question of who can persuade him to come? Because you know that Lille will sell, if you can meet Lille’s financial terms you know they will sell, then you’ve just got to do the deal with the player.

“There’s a lot of competition potentially, but I think it would be a fantastic deal for Liverpool if they can get that one across the line and make them serious challengers for next season’s title.

“There are other areas they need to strengthen in, but once you start getting double choices in attack in a way Manchester City have, you have a better chance of actually overhauling the differential between the team next season.”

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