Manchester United are ahead of their Premier League rivals in the race to sign £70million Lille winger, Nicolas Pepe, the UK Times reports.


Pepe has long been a United target, with Arsenal, Everton and Liverpool believed to be among the other admirers.


And they have gone ahead of their rivals by advancing their discussions with the French club in the last week.


Pepe was named in the Ligue 1 Team of the Year last season, and scored 22 times to propel Lille to a second-place finish and Champions League qualification.


The 24-year-old has three years remaining on his contract.


United hope to raise funds for his transfer by selling Striker Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan.


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