Madrid can count on Pepe, says ZZ

The future of Real Madrid defender Pepe may be unclear but manager Zinedine Zidane believes he can ‘count on him until the end’.

The 33-year-old’s contract at the Bernabeu expires this summer with reports in Spain suggesting he has already decided to join Manuel Pellegrini’s side Hebei China Fortune at the end of the campaign.

"Pepe is an important player and when he plays he always does his job," Zidane said.

"That is most interesting to me right now. I cannot say anything about his contract, it is not my concern at the moment. I will count on him until the end.

"[Pepe] will play some games, others no, that will not change, we have eight very good defenders and must leave some out sometimes."

Los Blancos also have Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane and Nacho Fernandez in the position while Jesus Vallejo (Eintracht Frankfurt) and Diego Llorente (Malaga) are two promising young central defenders currently out on loan from the club.

Tags Pepe Zinedine Zidane