- Pepi struggled in Bundesliga after leaving MLS
- Enjoyed an excellent season on loan at Groningen
- Dutch champions Feyenoord in talks over move for USMNT striker
WHAT HAPPENED? According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Feyenoord are interested in signing Ricardo Pepi as their new striker for next season. The newly-crowned Dutch champions have even opened talks with his parent club Augsburg regarding a possible summer transfer swoop for the talented 20-year-old USMNT striker, who is keen on staying in the Dutch Eredivisie after a stunning debut season at Groningen.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Pepi failed to score in 16 appearances for Augsburg before being loaned to Groningen. Despite Groningen’s eventual relegation from the Eredivisie, the youngster has largely impressed during his loan spell, scoring 13 goals and providing three assists in 30 appearances for the club. His sparkling displays have not gone unnoticed, with the striker linked to a whole host of top clubs in recent weeks. Augsburg are reportedly looking to sell the striker when he returns to Germany at the end of the season. Feyenoord are said to be one of several clubs interested in the former FC Dallas forward and they are keen on signing him on a loan-to-buy deal.
AND WHAT'S MORE: There is a distinct possibility that Arne Slot’s side could be forced to sell 14-goal forward Santiago Gimenez this summer. The Mexican has been a key figure in their Eredivisie title success and has piqued the interest of other top European clubs. Pepi has demonstrated his ability to score goals in the Eredivisie and could be a shrewd replacement for the league leaders.
Despite Feyenoord being in direct discussions with the German outfit, it's still very much an open transfer battle for Pepi, with league rivals PSV also reported to be interested in the young striker. For that very reason, Feyenoord are pushing to secure his signature as early as possible, as per Romano.
IN TWO PHOTOS:GettyGetty Images
WHAT NEXT FOR PEPI? The 15-cap United States international has been in fine form for both club and country in recent times. He netted three times for the USMNT in their CONCACAF Nations League games against Grenada and El Salvador in March, and will be looking to deliver similarly strong performances in the upcoming run-in of international games, which could increase his stock in the transfer market even further.