Jose Mourinho has explained that Pepe’s position in and out of the Real Madrid team is ‘typical for a club like Real Madrid’.
The Portuguese centre-back has been displaced in the team since the turn of the year, when ankle surgery saw Raphael Varane rise to prominence in his place.
Ahead of facing Galatasaray tonight, where he is again expected to swap out Pepe in favour of the 19-year-old Frenchman, Mourinho commented on the situation.
“Pepe’s situation is typical for a club like Real Madrid, where competition is high,” the 50-year-old told Portuguese television’s TVI.
“Players come out of the team by injury or suspension and in their place comes another quality player. That makes returning harder.
“He has recovered well from his operation, but in his absence we have played well, Varane has settled in his place.
“It is like that at the moment, that I consider a comfortable situation, because I have a lot of players in good condition.
“To Pepe this is a bit new, because he is now not an assured starter.”