Man City in pursuit of Pepe

Real Madrid’s Portuguese defender Pepe is Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini’s top defensive transfer target this summer, The Sun has reported, with the Spanish giants valuing the player at around £20m.

Pepe has spent six years at Real, having joined from FC Porto in 2007, and has been a regular throughout his time at the Bernabeu. Despite that, he was involved in a disagreement with then-manager Jose Mourinho due to being dropped in favour of 20-year-old Raphael Varane.

Most of City’s summer activity thus far has been focused on improving the team going forward, with Sevilla winger Jesus Navas and Shakhtar Donetsk attacking midfielder Fernandinho being brought in. Striker Alvaro Negredo, also of Sevilla, is also a major target.

Pellegrini is keen on signing a new centre-back, with the experienced Kolo Toure having left to join Liverpool, leaving just three senior players in that position currently at the club, captain Vincent Kompany, Matija Nastasic, and Joleon Lescott, who’s contract only has one more year to run.

Pepe, 30, would help replace Toure’s experience, with Pellegrini again using his knowledge of the Spanish league to strengthen his squad. His price tag, however, may put City off.

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