Chelsea eye up Lille star, as Newcastle linked with Burnley star

LOSC Lille forward Nicolas Pepe
LOSC Lille forward Nicolas Pepe from Ivory Coast. Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images.

Here are some of the most interesting stories we have found in today’s media:

Chelsea look to Lille for Hazard replacement

According to the Daily Mirror, Chelsea have earmarked Lille’s highly-rated forward Nicolas Pepe as a replacement for star player Eden Hazard, who is reportedly set for a summer switch to Real Madrid.

The 23-year-old Ivorian has been one of Lille’s standout players in a campaign that has seen his team rise to second in Ligue One. Pepe has scored 19 goals and produced 11 assists in the French top-flight this season.

According to reports in the French media, Pepe is looking to move on to a bigger club this summer. Arsenal had previously been linked with a swoop for the forward.

One sticking point in the Blues targeting Pepe may well be their current transfer ban, which they are currently appealing. If the appeal fails, the club from south west London will be unable to sign any new players for the next two transfer windows.

Magpies chasing a Claret

Newcastle are chasing the signature of Burnley’s highly-rated young winger Dwight McNeil according to reports from the Daily Mail.

The 19-year-old only broke into the Burnley first-team in August and has only been a regular on the wing since Christmas for the Clarets. The youngster has impressed since earning a regular spot in Burnley’s team though, scoring three times and producing five assists for the team from the north west.

However, Newcastle are likely to face a battle for the winger, if the Clarets were prepared to sell. Manchester City, Arsenal and Everton have all monitored the winger’s situation at Turf Moor. All three clubs would be willing to offer the youngster a better financial package than the team from the north east.

Will Nicolas Pepe be playing his trade in the Premier League next season?