Real Madrid defender Pepe could be set for a surprise exit from the Bernabeu in January with a move to Hebei China Fortune close, it is reported.
The 33-year-old’s contract at Madrid expires in June 2017 and talks over a new deal have stalled with the player’s representatives reportedly favouring a two-year deal with the club reluctant to sanction anything other than a renewed one-year contract with the option for a further year based on performances.
The Portuguese international earns €4.5m net annually in wages at Los Blancos but he has received an offer from Hebei China Fortune which would reportedly pay him €10m net a year.
Pepe has made 327 appearances for Madrid across ten seasons and this year was instrumental for both club and country by winning the Champions League for Zinedine Zidane’s men and the European Championships for Portugal.
Marca report that whilst the move to China may prove irresistible, the defender’s main concern is that such a move could cost him a place in the Portugal squad for the 2018 World Cup – which looks set to be his last major international tournament.
However, AS state that Madrid have already prepared for his departure with Jesus Vallejo set to return from Eintracht Frankfurt this summer to replace him in the squad.