Pepe is continuing to firmly establish himself as one of Europe’s most promising talents. The right winger has had nothing short of a magical season for Lille so far. A stunning tally of 16 goals and eight assists isn’t something to be ignored. There is substance behind all the hype.
His brilliant form this season has earned him the watchful eye of pretty much every one of Europe’s elite clubs. Sides such as Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich have all made their interest known. If reports are to believed, United have also joined the party.
The Red Devils have been desperate to sort out their problems on the right wing for years. They have never really found an appropriate replacement for Nani, who left the club back in 2015. Since then, a number of major signings have come in but have all failed to make an impact and were sold on almost immediately.
Angel Di Maria moved to United in 2014 from Real Madrid for a sensational sum of £60 million – a British transfer record fee at the time. He was supposed be a key player for the club for years to come, having signed a five-year contract. Instead, a burglary at his home followed by a falling out with his manager saw him pack his bags and move to Ligue 1 just one season later.
Memphis Depay suffered a similar fate, falling out with Louis van Gaal and then being discarded by Jose Mourinho. He was also another young star with a bright future ahead of him on United’s right flank. However, it wasn’t to be. He was shipped out to Lyon after just one season, but has rediscovered himself in France.
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In recent times, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard have been forced to take up that right wing role. Mata, who has been linked for a move away from the club might be a brilliant player when played behind the main striker. However, the Spaniard looks completely lost when played on the wings and just cannot influence the game as much as he usually does. His lack of pace doesn’t help his cause either.
United have been keen to finally put the conundrum of the right wing to bed once and for all. As a result, they are targeting a number of players who can play on that flank. Jadon Sancho is amongst the names being talked about. However, if reports by France Football and Telefoot are anything to go by, Ole wants Pepe to be his first signing if he is to be appointed as manager full-time.