Newcastle United tried to sign Angers Nicolas Pepe during the January window and when the 22 year-old was not available Newcastle tried to sign him on loan in late January.
But the youngster wanted to stay at Angers and help the club avoid relegation and he was successful in doing that with Angers finishing in a very decent 12th place.
So most players we tried to sign last January we generally expect the club to try to sign this summer and a few weeks ago we were supposed to be very close to signing this winger who now has 6 caps for the Ivory Coast.
Nicolas was in the Ivory Coast squad for the African Cup of Nations last January in Gabon.
22 year-old Angers winger Nicolas Pepe
But today French daily L’Equipe are reporting that Newcastle have submitted a €10M (£8.7M) bid for the player.
However Watford – who finished 4th bottom of the Premier League last season and have changed their manager once again – it’s now former Hull City manager Marco Silva – are also after Pepe and have reportedly bid €13M for him, which is runaround £11.3M – £2.6M more than the Magpies.
The report in L’Equipe is saying the player himself does not think he is ready for the Premier League, but that comes across as a bit like a lack of ambition coming from the player.
When you make a step up in anything in life which is different and new, you are never really ready for it – because you have never done it before.
Pepe could well decide to keep playing in France which he will be ready for after playing at Angers last season and Lyon, Lyon, Lille, and Nice are all interested in signing him.
But two weeks ago he was closely linked with Lille, who were said to be strong favorites to sign the 22 year-old.
If it’s true he doesn’t’ think he’s ready for the Premier League he will not be coming to Newcastle, unless Rafa can persuade him he is ready.
But that’s probably not something Rafa will want to do – the player himself has to think he can make a difference at a new club.
What do you think?