Date: 6th March 2019 at 6:37am
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Unai Emery could be forced to turn his attention away from Nicolas Pepe this summer after Lille president Gerard Lopez says it could take an €80 million asking price to sign his star man.

The 23-year-old is likely to attract interest from Europe’s elite clubs during the summer transfer window following a scintillating season in Ligue 1.

Pepe has found the net 16 times in 27 league games as his side sit a comfortable second place in the table.

Arsenal are one of the clubs to be suggested to have a keen interest, but the Gunners joined by Manchester United, Chelsea and Barcelona, who are also interested.

If one of these sides are to sign the Frenchman, he will not come cheap.

Lille are willing to stand firm over the Ivory Coast international’s valuation having already rejected offers worth €50m (£42.9m)

Asked if Pepe could stay at Lille for another season, Lopez told Canal Plus (via Metro Sport): ‘That does not just depend on the club. It also depends on the player. ‘He deserves to play at the highest level. We have offers yes.

‘In England, there are clubs. We have had offers worth €50m. ‘We will not sell for less, we have even refused a €50m bid. ‘We had an offer from China worth €80m with an astronomical salary, but he didn’t want to go.’