La Liga 2016/17: Real Madrid reluctant to offer Pepe new contract; Manchester United and Juventus interested
Real Madrid defender Pepe’s contract with the Spanish footballing superpower is set to expire next summer. The Portuguese will be 34 years old by the end of the current season, but he clearly feels that he still has more to contribute to the team, as the centre-back has made it clear to the club that he would like to extend his contract by a further two years.
However, according to reports in AS, Real Madrid seem hesitant to comply with his demands and are ready to move on and look for fresher legs to replace those of Pepe.
Should the Real Madrid hierarchy choose not to offer the centre-back a contract extension, Pepe is set to become a free agent in the next summer transfer window. It is likely that the club will look to make some money by selling the player before it comes to that.
This situation is sure to pique the interest of several clubs who would be interested in attaining the services of the Portuguese veteran, who has recently been linked with moves to some of the biggest clubs in the footballing world, including the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United, and Juventus.
Jose Mourinho has been facing problems at Manchester United with his leaky defense and the fact that Eric Bailly has been ruled out for two months is all the more reason for Mourinho to look to Pepe as an answer.
The Portuguese compatriots have previously worked together at Real Madrid. Antonio Conte also faced some issues with his back line at Chelsea, and Pepe himself is reportedly interested in a move to Stamford Bridge, according to The Mirror. Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri is also keeping tabs on the situation.
Pepe joined Real Madrid in the summer of 2007 from Portuguese giants FC Porto in a move worth £25.50 million, and now it appears as though his decade-long association with the club is almost at an end.
In his time with Los Blancos so far, Pepe has won a UEFA Super Cup, a FIFA Club World Cup, two Spanish Super Cups, two La Liga titles, two Spanish Cups, and two Champions League trophies. He also had a great season for Portugal with his Real Madrid teammate Cristiano Ronaldo, winning the country’s first major European trophy at the Euro 2016.
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