Lille not willing to listen to Pepe transfer offers until May

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The in-form striker has tipped to leave the Stade Pierre Mauroy - but no deal will be discussed until the end of the season

Lille president Gerard Lopez insists the club will not talk to any side about the signing of Nicolas Pepe until the end of the season.

The 23-year-old has enjoyed a fine campaign so far and is currently second only to Kylian Mbappe in the Ligue 1 scoring charts, with 17 goals and a further eight assists in 29 appearances.

His goals have helped to lift Christophe Galtier’s side up to second in the table, one point clear of third-placed Lyon with a game in hand.

The Ivory Coast international’s fine form has seen him linked with a number of top European sides, with German champions Bayern Munich the latest club to be credited with an interest.

Lille sporting director Luis Campos admitted last month that the club may be willing to sell Pepe at the end of the season, but only for a considerable fee.

In recent weeks Pepe’s strike partner Rafael Leo has also been linked with a move away, with Everton and Barcelona reportedly tracking his progress.

Lille president Lopez has sought to end the speculation for now by insisting no deals for any player will be discussed until at least the end of the campaign in May.

"We decided not to talk - be it with clubs or consultants. There will be silence until mid-May," he told La Voix du Nord.

"We have put the dressing room in a bubble and will expand that to the whole club. There are approaches to several players, not just Nicolas.”

When asked about his future Pepe insisted he had not held talks with Bayern or any rival clubs and was focused on ensuring Lille finish second and secure a place in the Champions League next season.

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"When the moment has come, I will make my decision. Whether there was contact with the Bayern? Certainly not with me,” he told Canal +.

“My advisors take care of the affairs, I'm focused on the exciting end of the season. I have no preference, look at all championships. Staying in Lille or going elsewhere is the same for me.”

Pepe will look to add to his impressive goal tally when Lille travel to Nantes in their next Ligue 1 game on Sunday.

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