Chelsea join Arsenal in race for £50m Lille winger Pepe as Hazard replacement amid transfer ban battle

CHELSEA are reportedly set to battle Arsenal for Lille star Nicolas Pepe.

Telefoot claims the Ivory Coast winger, 23, is set to leave for pastures new this summer.

And Chelsea have emerged as contenders for his signature as they brace themselves for Eden Hazard’s departure to Real Madrid.

Maurizio Sarri is keen to ensure Chelsea are well positioned in the transfer market if their ban appeal is successful.

And Pepe could be the perfect replacement for Hazard after emerging as Ligue 1’s surprise hit this term.

The winger has scored 19 goals and assisted a further 11 in just 32 matches.

His form has seen Lille take up residence in second behind Paris Saint-Germain.

And Hazard’s former team could now be set to talk terms with Chelsea yet again.

However, Arsenal remain interested in striking a deal.

While Manchester United have even been linked.

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Bayern Munich are keeping tabs on the situation too.

But there is no doubt Pepe will be on the move somewhere, with president Gerard Lopez saying: “It is sure he will leave.

“He enters a price range that can no longer be paid. There is a career choice to make, I think he will have the choice.”

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