Barcelona appear to be keeping a close eye on breakout Lille star Nicolas Pepe and his younger teammate Rafael Leao after reportedly scouting the pair in action last weekend.


Pepe has emerged as one of the most talked about talents in Europe this season after managing 28 combined goals and assists in 28 games in all competitions. Only Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani have scored more than the Ivorian winger in Ligue 1 this season.


A report from France Football notes that Barça travelled last weekend to 'oversee' Pepe and Leao, who at 19 years of age is in his first season with the club after joining from Sporting CP but has scored seven times in 16 games.


Lille had been on a run of five consecutive Ligue 1 wins and hadn't failed to find the net as a team since November. On this occasion, however, they fired blanks in a 0-0 draw with Montpellier.


One game seems unlikely to kill Barça's interest and France Football notes that the Catalans retain close ties with the French given that former Camp Nou official Marc Ingla is Lille general manager.

Rafael Leao,Cheick Timite

Particularly where Pepe is concerned, another transfer battle between Barça and Paris Saint-Germain is rumoured to be brewing. Bad blood has emerged over sagas involving Neymar, Marco Verratti and most recently Adrien Rabiot.


PSG's interest is said to have grown quickly in recent weeks, with France Football stating that president Nasser al-Khelaifi even met with Lille counterpart Gerard Lopez in the final days of the January transfer window.


Pepe has also been heavily linked with Arsenal this season and is said have so far resisted interest from Schalke, Sevilla and Lyon.