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Manchester City enter race for Ivory Coast winger – Newcastle and Watford have bid €12m

Manchester City have entered the hunt for highly-rated Angers winger Nicolas Pépé according to today’s edition of L’Equipe in France.

The 20-year-old is an Ivory Coast international who burst on to the scene in the 2016-17 Ligue 1 season, often as a substitute for Angers after a productive loan spell at Orleans in the French lower leagues.

Angers have requested a minimum of €10 million for the youngster, with Premier League sides Newcastle and Watford both offering €12 million excluding bonuses. From Ligue 1, Marcelo Bielsa’s Lille and Europa League qualifiers Lyon are also very keen to recruit Pépé, but Lille’s offer so far is below the asking price.

And now Manchester City want him, which will cause alarm for those other clubs knowing that the English powerhouse have so much money to spend. The Blues’ proposal would see Pépé immediately loaned to unofficial partner club Girona FC, who have just won promotion to La Liga in Spain. He would develop in Spain’s top flight with a view to later becoming part of Pep Guardiola’s Man City first-team.

L’Equipe believes his future could be decided as soon as Monday, with Angers resigned to losing their young prodigy this summer.

Born in France, Pépé chose to represent the Ivory Coast and has six caps so far. With pace and skill to burn, the Ivorian is considered a player of enormous potential, making him an appealing option for a number of clubs. While City would buy him as an investment for the future, his other options would look to integrate him into the first-team fold right away.

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