Pellegrini set to make one last attempt to sign Portuguese stopper…
Manchester City are set to launch a final £20m bid for Real Madrid’s 30-year-old centre-half Pepe, reports the Daily Mail.
With just days before the start of the Premier League season, new City boss Manuel Pellegrini has only two fit senior centre-backs to choose from, as Matija Nastasic suffered a nasty pre-season injury. Pepe has been a target all summer, and the Chilean manager will launch one final bid for the no-nonsense defender.
A £20m fee has been mooted, which seems very high for a player in his thirties. Pepe lost a starting position to Raphael Varane last season, although it is yet be seen if new manager Carlo Ancelotti wants to partner Sergio Ramos with the young Frenchman ahead of Pepe this term.
Reports in Spain suggest City’s director of football Txiki Begiristain has flown out to Madrid to try and broker a deal, but if Madrid refuse to negotiate like they did earlier in the summer, the Sky Blues will have to reluctantly look elsewhere.
Pellegrini managed the no-nonsense defender in the 2009/10 season during his one year stint as Real Madrid manager, and the Portuguese obviously impressed the Chilean.
For that kind of transfer fee, fans would expect Pepe to start alongside club captain Vincent Kompany at the heart of the defence, leaving the talented Matija Nastasic on the bench once he regains full fitness.
City have already spent huge money on La Liga duo Alvaro Negredo and Jesus Navas this summer, and have also turned to the Ukrainian and Italian leagues to secure Fernandinho and Stevan Jovetic respectively.