Gremio prepared to sell Brazil U23 forward Pepe if price is right

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RIO DE JANEIRO, April 16 (Xinhua) -- Gremio could be forced to sell Brazil under-23 forward Pepe as they grapple with the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, according to club vice president Paulo Luz.

Pepe has reportedly attracted interest from Spanish clubs Sevilla and Valladolid, though Gremio said a firm offer has not yet been made for the 23-year-old.

"The financial situation for all Brazilian clubs is going to be very serious," Luz told Radio Bandeirantes. "We're losing revenue every day. As a fan, I don't want him [Pepe] to leave. But as a director and, aware of our responsibilities, if we receive a financially attractive proposal it will be considered."

Brazilian football has been suspended since mid-March to counter the spread of COVID-19, which has claimed the lives of more than 145,000 people worldwide.

The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) last week warned the shutdown could have disastrous consequences for clubs, which are struggling to manage their costs without vital matchday, broadcast and commercial revenues.

Pepe has scored three times in five matches for Brazil's U23 team this year. He has made 87 first-team appearances and netted 18 goals for Gremio since joining the Porto Alegre side from Foz do Iguacu in 2016.

His current contract runs until 2022 and reportedly includes a 40 million-euro buyout clause.

"We've received inquiries but there haven't been any solid proposals or conversations yet," Luz said. "Pepe is a young, talented player who has that extra touch of class. He is fast and is a great finisher." Enditem

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