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Nicolas Pepe, the star of Ligue 1, could have been Newcastle United’s for £10m

Newcastle United

Nicolas Pepe, the star of Ligue 1, could have been Newcastle United’s for £10m

The Ivory Coast winger has been sensational this season and could have been Newcastle’s.

Lille winger Nicolas Pepe is the toast of Ligue 1 at present. The talented attacker has five goals and five assists from his opening eight games for the club this season. It carries on his excellent form from last season when he bagged 13 goals in 36 games for his new club.

According to reports, Lille are now ready to field offers in the £30 million price bracket for the player. Teams such as Arsenal, Everton, Manchester United, Sevilla and even Barcelona have been credited with an interest in the player.

Such talk must make Newcastle United fans sick. Rafa Benitez’s side were heavily linked with a move for the player back in 2017.

Marseille’s Brazilian midfielder Luiz Gustavo (R) vies with Lille’s Ivorian forward Nicolas Pepe (C) during the French L1 football match between Lille and Marseille on September 30, 2018 at the Pierre Mauroy Stadium in Villeneuve d’Ascq, northern France. (Photo by PHILIPPE HUGUEN / AFP) (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)

As reported by the Chronicle they could have signed the player in January that year, but balked at the £10 million asking price.

 

Lille eventually snapped him up later that year from Angers and the Ivorian winger has proved to be a massive hit since joining the club.

Newcastle, meanwhile, look bereft of ideas going forward and could certainly do with a goal and assist wing wizard like the 23-year-old in their ranks.

However, yet again, the frugality of Mike Ashley when it comes to events at St James’ Park has left Newcastle fans wondering, what if?

Sports journalist based in Bristol. Everton fan for my sins.

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