Hazard replacement? Chelsea launch £70m move for 24-goal winger

Chelsea are rumoured to be interested in the transfer of Lille forward Nicolas Pepe. Pepe is one of the hottest prospects in Europe with a number of clubs interested in the pacey forward.

According to Metro, Chelsea have joined the race to sign the Ivory Coast international who is valued at £70 million.

Pepe was instrumental this season for Lille as they were the surprise package of the season.  After narrowly escaping relegation last season, Lille finished second place in the French League with Pepe at the forefront of this achievement.

The 25-year-old scored 22 goals and created 11 assists in the League and displayed the ability to dominate opposing defences this season.

Chelsea are expected to lose talisman Eden Hazard to Real Madrid in the summer and Pepe would be a good replacement for the Belgium international. Hazard was also signed from Lille seven seasons ago on the back of an excellent season.

The only problem that the Blues face is that the club can not make any transfer for the next two windows. The Stamford Bridge outfit were hit with a transfer ban but have carried the case to the CAS.

Chelsea would be hopeful that the ban is overturned as Pepe is an excellent all-round attacker.

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