City’s new boss is willing to splash £20m on the Portuguese stopper.
Manchester city could offer as much as £20m for Real Madrid’s 30-year-old centre-back, according to The Daily Mail.
New Chilean boss Manuel Pellegrini worked with the no-nonsense defender during his time at Real Madrid, and was so impressed he wants to reunite with him at his English club.
This is despite the plans to keep Joloen Lescott, who many thought would be leaving the club at the start of the summer. If Pepe signs, Pellegrini would have Vincent Kompany, Pepe, Matija Nastasic and Lescott all fighting for two slots. Micah Richards has also stated that his long term future lies at centre-half, although injuries have scuppered his development.
It is inconceivable that club-captain Kompany wouldn’t be guaranteed a starting berth, so Pepe would probably be battling with Lescott and talented youngster Nastasic for the remaining slot.
Interestingly, Pepe lost a starting position to another talented youngster in Frenchman Raphael Varane last term , and he would be determined not to do it again as he enters this peak years as a centre-half.
Pepe made two defensive errors last year that led to goals, but averaged eight decisive defensive actions per match. Nastasic’s stats are very similar, although he only made one defensive error that cost a goal, and failed to find the net. Lescott made three defensive errors leading to goals, and averaged only seven defensive actions per match.
Interestingly, Lescott’s average length of pass was 20-metres, which was shorter than both Pepe and Nastasic. Lescott had previously been criticised for having too direct an approach when building play from the back.
Carlo Ancelotti is keen to keep Pepe at Real Madrid, but a bid of £20m would help him raise money for his own transfer targets – and with Sergio Ramos and Varane already at the club, selling Pepe seems a viable option.