Nicolas Pépé has been in sensational form for Lille in Ligue 1 this season, having scored 16 goals and provided 10 assists, helping his side to 2nd place behind leaders Paris Saint-Germain. There’s still a good portion left of this season, and he’s already improved upon a 2017/208 campaign that saw him score 13 goals and provide 8 assists in Ligue 1. His impressive performances have caught the eye of several elite European clubs, including Bayern Munich, and the Ivorian could take his talents elsewhere after the conclusion of this season.
In a recent interview with L’Equipe (via Catalan based outlet, Sport and also reported by kicker), Lille manager Christoph Galtier suggested that Pépé should be playing for a Champions League caliber team without having to develop at another smaller club first:
Nicolas Pépé is having a great season and will continue to progress. He has to go to a Champions League club. In my opinion, an intermediate step is not necessary [for him] to go as high as possible.
There’s a bevy of elite clubs interested in acquiring his services, including FC Barcelona, PSG, and Arsenal, but Galtier specifically mentioned that he sees Pépé playing for “a team in red,” alluding to Bayern:
I see him as good with a team that plays all in red and likes to put wingers on the side of their weaker feet.
To elaborate even further, the Lille boss said he sees great similarity between his winger and both Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben. Much like Robben, Pépé enjoys cutting on to his left foot from the right side of the pitch with pace, leaving defenders caught on their heels:
He reminds me of Bayern’s two wingers. Younger Robben had this ability to eliminate players, cut inside and be clever in front of goal. Ribéry also had this ability.
Per kicker, Pépé and his agent have already rejected offers from both Arsenal and suitors from the Chinese Super League. He is valued at no less than €60m and would prefer to stay in Europe. The fee offered from China was closer to €70m, but a move to a top club in Europe is clearly the priority. Bayern will definitely consider him as they make their summer plans to bolster the squad.