Chelsea target Lille ace
Chelsea are reported to be lining up a swoop for Lille star Nicolas Pepe should they need to replace Eden Hazard at some point.
Chelsea's transfer dealings are currently up in the air while they wait to discover if a two-window transfer ban will stand, but that is not stopping speculation over who could leave and who could arrive.
Hazard is wanted by Real Madrid and it would appear that Chelsea officials are preparing for that prospect by lining up potential replacements, including Pep.
The 23-year-old Ivory Coast international winger has been heavily linked with a move to one of Europe's top clubs at the end of this season, with Bayern Munich also keen.
Lille president Gerard Lopez has also said it is certain that Pepe will have to be sold this summer, but whether he ends up with Chelsea, remains to be seen.
"It is certain, he will leave," Lopez said. "He has moved into a price range that we can not afford anymore. There is a career choice to make for him, I think he will have the choice."
Michael Holland is a reporter with over two decades of journalism experience. A Bolton fan, Michael often writes football articles, as well as having a strong knowledge of golf, cricket and Australian sports.