Liverpool and Manchester City were said to have taken their rivalry from the pitch to the papers in pursuit of an African star, but it appears that both clubs have missed out on their target.
On the back of one of the Premier League’s most tightly contested title battles, Liverpool and City have been linked with a number of possible signings as they look to gain an advantage over their rivals.
Nicolas Pepe is a player who has popped up on both clubs’ radar after enjoying a breakthrough season with Lille, and the Ivorian forward continued his form at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations.
According to Corriere dello Sport, however, Serie A side Napoli have now leapfrogged the Premier League giants in the race to sign the 24-year-old, who has also been linked with the likes of Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain.
Napoli have reportedly made a bid of €60 million (R937 million) plus Adam Ounas in an attempt to sign the sought-after attacker, who was the second-highest goalscorer in Ligue 1 last season, behind Kylian Mbappe.
The Reds and the Citizens are unlikely to match Napoli’s offer, and it appears the Italians are now favourites to complete a deal for the African star.
Pepe joined Lille from Angers in 2017, and has scored 37 goals in 79 appearances for the club since.
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