By Matt Farr
Premier League do Hull and Watford have tabled £7million bids for Everton target Nicolas Pepe, according to a reliable journalist.
French newspaper L’Equipe had previously reported that Liverpool and Newcastle were also interested in signing the Ivory Coast forward, but no formal bids had been lodged for the player.
However, Guardian journalist Ed Aarons revealed on his official Twitter account on Wednesday night that Hull and Watford have now taken the lead in the pursuit of the 21-year-old, who has been impressing for Ligue 1 side Angers.
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 has made 19 appearances in all competitions for the French side this season, netting two goals and providing an assist, and France Football had reported that he had been lined up by Everton manager Ronald Koeman to freshen up his limited attacking options.
Hull and Watford look to be actively pressing forward with a move for the attacker however, with the former likely preparing for the imminent departure of Robert Snodgrass, who is edging closer to a £10million switch to Burnley.
Football Insider verdict
Pepe would be a much better fit for Hull or Watford than the other interested parties, because he would play a much more substantial role in the first team. Although Everton have lost a few wide players, Pepe may still struggle to land a regular role in Ronald Koeman’s side. The club have not shown much movement since their interest was first reported this month, so it remains to be seen how highly Ronald Koeman rates him as a potential target. However, Koeman has already shown the club’s spending power in the transfer market, and it would be little surprise if he is keen to throw a further £7million at Pepe.
In other Everton transfer news, the club have told how much they must pay to land this prolific 19-year-old.