Report: Newcastle keen on £8.7m-rated attacker, top-flight club in talks
By Derek Smithson
Newcastle face tough competition for the signature of attacker Nicolas Pepe from French club Angers, according to a report.
French publication L’Equipe claim that a number of English clubs are interested in the 22-year-old, with Newcastle leading the way.
However, it is understood that Ligue 1 club Lille have been in contact with fellow top-flight club Angers about Pepe.
Lille manager Marcelo Bielsa has been scouting the Ivory Coast international and talks have accelerated about a potential transfer.
The report details that Angers are holding out for £8.7million for their highly rated youngster.
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Pepe enjoyed a breakout season last year in the Angers first team, scoring three goals and supplying two assists in 39 appearances across all competitions.
The three-time capped international predominantly plays as a right winger, but can also be deployed as a central attacker.
Football Insider verdict:
Newcastle should ditch any potential move for Pepe as he is not the sort of player they need for the Premier League. The 22-year-old is certainly not the finished article yet and his stats in front of goal last season were hardly inspiring. An £8.7million move could be seen as a calculated risk and there are major hopes that he could become a future star, with three international caps already under his belt. However, he doesn’t seem ready for the Premier League and Newcastle already have several talented options in the wide areas. The Magpies need to turn their attention to players with top flight experience in England to make an immediate impact in their side.
In other Newcastle transfer news, the club are not pursuing a move for a £15million-rated Premier League defender.