Lille face a real fight to retain their key stars, even in a summer where trading is likely to be difficult.
Christophe Galtier’s side narrowly missed out on the top three last season, and with it a path to the Champions League. That one point they were short could prove critical in the long term.
Lille’s finances remain on a somewhat shaky footing and they have not hidden the fact that they will be forced to sell a couple of their top performers in the summer in order to stabilise matters in that regard.
Although Victor Osimhen caught the eye with his goals last season, the sell-on price for the Nigeria international has been harmed by Nicolas Pepe’s failure to impress at Arsenal since making a similar move last summer.
Nevertheless, Luis Campos, the club’s sporting director, who himself has been linked with several Premier League sides in recent weeks, has been publicly stubborn in his insistence that a fee matching Pepe’s €80 million will be required to prise Osimhen away from Stade Pierre-Mauroy.
Perhaps a more probable player to exit the northern side is promising young midfielder Boubakary Soumare, a 21-year-old who appears to be purpose built for Premier League football.
Numerous big clubs continue to be linked with a player compared to Paul Pogba in the recent past, with Real Madrid, Liverpool, Napoli and Newcastle, should their takeover be a success, among the suitors. Boasting an FC rating of 76, there is much more to come from the youngster.