Arsenal are on the verge of signing Nicolas Pepe from Lille in what will be a record transfer for the Gunners.
BBC Sport say a £72m deal is close to completion, with the 24-year-old Ivorian rejecting the attention of Carlo Ancelotii’s Napoli.
According to French journalist Mohamed Bouhafsi, Jurgen Klopp was genuinely keen on Pepe – but talks didn’t continue and the club never made a proper bid for the flyer.
Bro, Klopp wanted Pépé. The interest was genuine & high. In any case, Lille President Lopez officially confirmed discussions with Liverpool. Bro, I don’t know why things didn’t go further.
— Mohamed Bouhafsi (@mohamedbouhafsi) July 29, 2019
We really struggle to believe that Pepe would choose Arsenal over Champions League holders Liverpool if both teams had a bid accepted, so we can only assume our interest dropped when Lille’s extravagant asking price became appropriate.
English journalists claim we never fancied Pepe at all – so there’s also a chance Bouhafsi has been fed Liverpool’s name to increase the urgency from the likes of Arsenal to get a deal over the line.
Whatever happened, it’s now looking practically impossible that Liverpool will sign a versatile forward before the August 8 transfer deadline.
Whether we’ll live to regret that decision remains to be seen.