According to reports in the Daily Mirror, Chelsea have found their replacement for Eden Hazard should he leave for Madrid this summer, in the form of Lille midfielder Nicolas Pepe.
The 23-year-old has indicated to his club that he would like to leave the club this summer yet the French outfit have slapped a £70m price tag on him which the Blues would be forced to pay.
If the Ivory Coast winger is anything like Hazard, who also came to Stamford Bridge from Lille, then Chelsea fans will be in for a treat but Pepe would have a lot to live up to. The latter has been in sensational form this campaign and been crucial in guiding Lille to second place so far this season.
He has managed 19 goals this campaign for Lille and assisted a further 11 – only behind PSG’s Kylian Mbappe in the top goal-scorer charts.
The reports suggest that Chelsea are resigned to the fact they will be losing Eden Hazard this summer to Madrid but the transfer ban which has been imposed on them has to be remembered. Pepe would only be allowed to join the club should Chelsea be successful in their appeal against the ban.
Pepe has spent time across teams in France but has excelled this season for the top-flight club and has received great attention and will likely be on the move this summer, whether he becomes a Chelsea player or not is yet to be seen.