Chelsea and Manchester City have been put on alert after Real Madrid decided to hold off talks regarding a new contract for their central defender Pepe.
According to the Daily Mirror, Los Blancos’ new boss Rafael Benitez has decided to postpone any discussions as he wants the Portuguese man to prove himself during the final year of his current deal.
The Mirror report that the former Blues boss wants Raphael Varane at the heart of Madrid’s back four, which would leave one space up for grabs, with the 32-year-old and Sergio Ramos having to battle it out for the slot.
But, it does not appear that the abrupt halt to talks has gone down well with Pepe, with the Mirror suggesting that he wants his future sorted as soon as possible.
Should he be shown the door, Madrid will be willing to sell for around £10.5m, according to the Mirror.
The situation is reportedly being monitored by both of the Premier League’s top two from last season, with both managers having worked with the defender previously. And with both looking to strengthen their options ahead of the new campaign, the price required to bring Pepe to their respective clubs may just prove too tempting.