Man City end interest in Pepe

Real Madrid’s Portuguese defender Pepe, the subject of recent transfer speculation, is no longer being sought by Manchester City, according to the Daily Telegraph, leaving Manuel Pellegrini to pursue other defensive targets.

City are in the market for a central defender, with only three senior players left at the club who play in that position: captain Vincent Kompany, England international Joleon Lescott – who has just one year left on his current contract – and Matija Nastasic, 20.

Pepe was identified by sporting director Txiki Begiristain as City’s prime target, but now Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti – recently appointed as successor to Jose Mourinho, whom Pepe had a war of words with towards the end of last season – has told the club’s president Florentino Perez that he would like the 30-year-old to stay at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Ancelotti cited Pepe’s vast experience both domestically and internationally as a factor in his decision to keep him, rather than allow him to leave for £12m this summer.

This leaves Pellegrini with only two summer signings for City since arriving from Malaga, both in attacking positions, with Fernandinho brought in from Shakhtar Donetsk, along with Spain international winger Jesus Navas.

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