Manchester City are ready to test Real Madrid’s resolve this week by offering them €25m for central defender Pepe.
AS reports that the Premier League outfit plan to meet Madrid officials to thrash out a possible deal that would see the Portuguese international double his earnings at the Etihad Stadium. Pepe currently takes home €3.5m-a-year but the Blues are prepared to go as high as €7m to tempt him to England.
Manuel Pellegrini, who knows the 30-year-old from his time at the Santiago Bernabeu, is widely tipped to be City’s new boss and is an admirer of Pepe, as is director of football Txiki Begiristain.
The player himself is aware that at his age this could be his last chance to sign a big contract, particularly as at times this season he has lost his place to French youngster Raphael Varane.
Pepe has been with Los Blancos since moving from Porto in July 2007 and renewed his contract until 2016 only last season, although it is understood there are no further plans to improve it.
From Madrid’s viewpoint, a major problem in letting Pepe leave is that with Ricardo Carvalho’s departure to Monaco it would leave them with just three recognised centre-backs in Sergio Ramos, Raul Albiol and Varane.