NEWCASTLE UNITED are set to miss out on one of their leading transfer targets, with Angers winger Nicolas Pepe on the verge of joining French club Lille.

The Magpies have made a number of inquiries about Pepe, a 22-year-old Ivory Coast international who has also been interesting Manchester City and Watford.

However, Lille have also been pushing hard for Pepe's signature, and having agreed a €12m deal with Angers officials, the French club are understood to have persuaded Pepe to reject the opportunity of a move to the Premier League in order to remain in Ligue 1.

Lille coach Marcelo Bielsa has made Pepe his number one summer target, and the Ivorian is expected to complete a medical with his prospective new employers in the next 24 hours.

Pepe is set to sign a five-year deal with Lille, having made 33 Ligue 1 appearances with Angers last season.

Newcastle's recruitment team are currently chasing a number of different targets, and are close to completing an £8.7m deal for Eibar defender Florian Lejeune.

Talks with Eibar officials have been ongoing for a couple of weeks, and there has finally been a breakthrough over the payment of the transfer fee.

Newcastle are set to double Lejeune's wages in order to sign him from La Liga, and it is hoped the transfer will be confirmed before the end of the week.