Man Utd ready to battle Arsenal for £45m transfer of Lille star Nicolas Pepe

MANCHESTER UNITED will go head-to-head with Arsenal in a duel for long-term target Nicolas Pepe, according to reports.

The Lille forward has been in the sights of Premier League clubs since last summer with Chelsea and Liverpool also heavily linked. 

His form has continued this season having scored 20 goals and picking up 11 assists as he targets a move to a bigger club.

French giants Paris Saint-Germain have also shown an interest but it appears Man United are ready to roll the dice and make the first move.

The Mirror report that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is weighing up a £45million offer for the Ivory Coast international.

Solskjaer is wasting no time in starting from scratch with his squad and is already looking to add Swansea's Daniel James to his ranks.

With Alexis Sanchez, Juan Mata and Anthony Martial expected to leave Old Trafford, he is prioritising bolstering the front line.

Pepe, 23, has been regarded as one of the brightest talents across Europe with his blistering pace and threat on the counter attack.

And scouts have been more than encouraged that his performances on the field have continued to improve.

Arsenal are also keen on investing heavily on him in the summer but fear they could be priced out if they fail to secure Champions League through the Europa League.

Last month his agent admitted that talks with other clubs are being held but hinted that Bayern Munich are also interested.

Samit Khiat told RTL: "We are in discussions with clubs. No decision has been taken.

“Today, there are no favourites, be it Bayern Munich or another club.

“Nicolas will not go just anywhere. We have not decided on which league.”

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