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Real Madrid transfer rumour: Los Blancos looking to bring back on loan defender Jesus Vallejo as replacement for Pepe

  • Vallejo's performances for the Germans had been so outstanding that they were reportedly looking to extend his loan deal.
Akshay Pai
ANALYST
Rumors
Modified 29 Dec 2016, 19:17 IST
Jesus Vallejo
Real Madrid are looking towards Vallejo as a replacement for Pepe

Real Madrid are apparently eyeing their on-loan defender Jesus Vallejo as a replacement for Pepe. Coach Zinedine Zidane is already planning ahead for the 2017/18 season; with the Portugal international likely to not be given a new deal, Vallejo – currently on loan to Bundesliga outfit, Eintracht Frankfurt – is thought to be a part of Zidane’s long-term plans for the European champions.

AS claim that Vallejo will be back to Real Madrid by June 30, 2017. It almost seems a certainty at this point that Pepe will no longer be at Madrid come the end of the season – with his contract expiring this summer and it is looking increasingly likely that he will not be given a new one.

Pepe’s departure is sure to leave a giant hole in the Los Merengues’ squad, with the defender having had an incredibly successful decade in Madrid since his move from Porto in 2007. The 33 year old has been a mainstay in the first team that has won 2 Champions Leagues, 2 FIFA Club World Cups, 2 league titles, 2 Copa Del Rays, a UEFA Super Cup and a Supercopa Espana in the past 10 years, making over 20 appearances in all but 1 of his seasons at the club.

On the other hand, Vallejo has started sixteen of Frankfurt’s eighteen games this season, adding up to 1,472 minutes (91% of the total available), and is become an integral member of the team that currently sits fourth in the Bundesliga standings.

He’s also helped them to the second best defensive record in the entire division, behind only Bayern. His coach at the club, Nico Kovac, is clearly delighted with him:  "It's madness, I've never seen a player like him. He sees things so clearly, he's 19 and it looks like he's 30," he said.

His performances for the Germans had been so outstanding that they were reportedly looking to extend his loan deal by another 2 years just a few weeks ago, however, Madrid’s answer was a no; though at the time, not a definitive one. But with Pepe’s future now in doubt, that stance has clearly changed; with the answer now being that he will not be continuing his stay in Germany.

In Vallejo, Real will also have a player who wouldn’t immediately threaten Raphael Varane’s position as a starter alongside Sergio Ramos; something that the Frenchman has been fighting for 6 seasons. His availability also ensures that Madrid have an upper-hand regarding any contract negotiations with Pepe, with the youngster on standby in case a renewal doesn’t come to fruition.

Madrid had signed Vallejo from Real Zaragoza in the summer of 2015 for what was believed to be a sum of 6 million euros and left him there for the remainder of the season. This year the decision was to send him to the Bundesliga, the same process that was followed with Dani Carvajal, and the result has been spectacular.

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Vallejo will be 20 on 4 January 2017, and at the moment he's attempting to keep calm despite the whirl of good news surrounding him. That said, he's made no secret of his desire: "My motivation is to play with Real Madrid one day."

Published 29 Dec 2016, 10:50 IST
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