Tottenham are set to open third-party talks to sign in-demand Lille forward Nicolas Pepe this summer, Football Insider understands.
The north Londoners are among a posse of Europe’s elite clubs in the race to land the 23-year-old that includes all five of their top-six English rivals.
A Tottenham recruitment source has told Football Insider the club have registered their interest in the Ligue 1 sensation and are ready to step up their pursuit by attempting to persuade Pepe’s camp why his career would best be served by joining Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
Spurs hope that Pochettino’s skill and track record of developing elite talent can prove persuasive, in addition to the Champions League semi-finalists being able to provide a platform to be a regular starter for an ambitious club going places.
In addition to Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and the two Manchester clubs, Juventus, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain are eager to recruit one of the world’s most exciting young attackers.
The Ivory Coast international is valued at between £50million and £60m on the back of a campaign in which he has directly contributed to 34 goals from 37 appearances, through 21 strikes and 13 assists.
Pepe delivered another five-star performance as Lille blew Nimes Olympic away with a stunning second-half display on Sunday night to triumph 5-0 and cement second place in Ligue 1.
Pepe is left footed but has made his name as a pacy wide forward who operates on the right flank and cuts inside onto his favoured foot.
Lille’s president Gerard Lopez admits his club are set to cash in on their prize asset this summer, who manager Christophe Galtier described recently as “exceptional” and who is a “world-class player already”.