By Matt Farr
Newcastle have joined a host of top-level English clubs in the race to sign Ivory Coast striker Nicolas Pepe, according to a report.
The Mail claim the Championship’s second-placed outfit have made an approach for the versatile Angers forward.
It is said that Newcastle are not the only big club who are interested in the 21-year-old, with Hull also making enquiries and Liverpool, Everton and West Brom watching him closely.
This comes after Guardian journalist Ed Aarons revealed on his official Twitter account on Wednesday night that Hull and Watford have tabled £7million bids for the forward.
Told Watford and Hull have submitted a bid of 9m euros for Nicolas Pépé of Angers today. Previously linked to Liverpool and Everton #lfc
— Ed Aarons (@ed_aarons) January 25, 2017
Pepe, who has been capped once by the senior Ivory Coast side, can play either on the right wing or as a central striker
He has made 19 appearances in all competitions for French side Angers this season, scoring two goals and providing an assist.
France Football had reported that the Ivorian had been lined up by Everton manager Ronald Koeman to freshen up his limited attacking options.
Newcastle’s interest comes at a time when senior strike duo Aleksandar Mitrovic and Dwight Gayle are both sidelined through injury.
Football Insider verdict
Pepe would be a much better fit for Newcastle than the other interested parties, because he would be more likely to get first team opportunities. The Magpies are clearly in the market for speedy wingers in the next five days after holding talks with Crystal Palace over Andros Townsend and making approaches for Swansea duo Modou Barrow and Jefferson Montero. The Ivorian is something of an unknown quantity to English audiences, but the calibre of the interested clubs demonstrates he has caught the eye of talent spotters.
In other Newcastle transfer news, the club have told how much they must pay to land this prolific 19-year-old.