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Nicolas Pepe: Napoli agree deal with Lille to sign Ivory Coast winger

Lopez: "Napoli have satisfied our request of 80m euros (£71.7m). Now it will be up to the player to decide where to go."

Nicolas Pepe celebrates
Image: Nicolas Pepe celebrates after scoring one of his 23 goals last season

Napoli have agreed a deal in principle to sign Ivory Coast winger Nicolas Pepe, says Lille president Gerard Lopez.

The 24-year-old has been linked with a move to several top European clubs - including Manchester United - after scoring 23 goals in 41 appearances last season, firing Lille to a second-placed finish in Ligue 1.

Earlier this week, Lille president Gerard Lopez revealed the future of the in-demand winger is close to being decided, while Pepe stated in February he was open to a move away from the French side.

"Napoli have satisfied our request of 80m euros. Now it will be up to the player to decide where to go, also on the basis of other proposals that his agents received from four clubs," Lopez told Tuttosport.

LILLE, FRANCE - APRIL 14: President of Lille Gerard Lopez congratulates Nicolas Pepe of Lille following the French Ligue 1 match between Lille OSC (LOSC) and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) at Stade Pierre Mauroy on April 14, 2019 in Lille, France. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
Image: Gerard Lopez brought in Nicolas Pepe from Ligue 1 rivals Angers for 10m euros

"Pepe will return from his holidays on Monday and I think that he will make his mind up halfway through the week.

"We asked him to stay last year and promised him we would have let him go during this transfer window."

Pepe's agent Samir Khiat and his staff visited Napoli's training base in Dimaro on Thursday to undergo talks with the Serie A board over personal terms.

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However, Sky in Italy report that the agent's request of a five-million-euro-per-year deal and a five million euro (£4.5m) agent fee are deemed too extortionate by Napoli, who could include one of their own players in the deal.

Adam Ounas celebrates his goal for Napoli in the Europa League
Image: Adam Ounas joined Napoli in July 2017 from Bordeaux

According to Sky in Italy, the deal could be facilitated by Adam Ounas, who is on the Ligue 1 club's radar, as confirmed by Lopez himself.

"Now that Pepe will leave, coach Galtier will need an important player on the right wing, exactly like Ounas that we know from his time at Bordeaux when he would always create trouble," he said.

United have been strongly linked with Pepe. However, Sky Sports News has been told they are not in talks with the player or the club and will not be signing him.

United remain in discussions with Inter Milan over the potential sale of Romelu Lukaku, but Sky Sports News understands the Italian giants are reluctant to pay United's asking price despite manager Antonio Conte's desire to bring the player to San Siro.

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