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Lille sign Pepe, Koffi on five-year deals

IANS logoIANS 22-06-2017

After the arrival of Argentine head coach Marcelo Bielsa, Lille, ranked 11th in last season's Ligue 1 campaign, made an early move to strengthen their squad, reports Xinhua news agency.

With his skill and speed, the 22-year-old Pepe helped Angers finish 12th in the league and make it to the French Cup final, scoring three goals in 39 games in all competitions. His transfer fee could reportedly reach 10 million euros (around $11.16 million) with bonus.

"I feel happy about the signing with Lille. I'm sure that I have made a right choice," said the Ivorian winger, who will play for Lille until 2022.

"The coming of Marcelo Bielsa played an important role in making my decision. I'm now very excited to work with such a coach. It's a big step forward in my career to join a club like Lille," he added.

Although unfamiliar to European leagues, the 20-year-old goalie Koffi has established himself as one of the biggest hopes for Africa. His remarkable performance earned Burkina Faso a third place finish in this year's Africa Cup of Nations.

"A new challenge is offered to me, and I'm very motivated to start this new adventure," said Koffi.

Lille also loaned their offensive midfielder Alexis Araujo to Ligue 2 side Ajaccio on Wednesday.

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