By Harvey Byrne
Everton are interested in Angers emerging star Nicolas Pepe, according to a report.
French football website France Football has named the Toffees as one of several clubs interested in the 21-year-old.
The teams named include several European powerhouses in Roma, Lille and Monaco.
However, the report also states that Ligue 1 giants Lyon have placed a £5million bid to bring the up and coming star in during the January window.
Angers are currently sitting in 16th in the French top division with Pepe playing in 19 encounters with a return of just two goals and one assist.
However, the player is thought to have immense potential and the Toffees are also looking to add wide men to their team with Ademola Lookman expected to join from Charlton and links to Memphis Depay from Manchester United.
Pepe is highly regarded at his young age and he has also represented the Ivory Coast national team once.
The report states that he is expected to go to the AFCON in January, but Everton may now be pressured into making a bid themselves following Lyon’s offer.
The youngster is contracted until 2019, but Angers may look to cash in on him now with his value expected to plummet after 2017.
Football Insider verdict:
Pepe is unlikely to move to Everton and become an instant hit, but he will bring something that the Toffees are currently lacking out wide. Wingers Kevin Mirallas and Aaron Lennon lack the required pace, while Gerard Deulofeu struggles with his final ball. The wide areas have looked very weak for the Merseyside club since summer signing Yannick Bolasie suffered a long-term injury and it has become clear that they need to add in January. Pepe is likely to go to the AFCON, meaning he will miss a month, but he could be crucial to helping Ronald Koeman’s side move up the league in the second half of the campaign.
In other Everton transfer news, Koeman has shared the Toffees interest in multiple targets going into January.