Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly interested in signing Pepe from Real Madrid in the summer transfer window
Spanish outlet Marca have reported that Pepe is ready to depart from Real Madrid at the end of the season. Meanwhile, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain are eager to sign the Portuguese veteran in the summer transfer window, and have asked for his services.
Pepe was one of the most promising young defenders in Europe when he made the switch to Real Madrid from Porto in 2007 in a £25 million deal. Nearly ten years have passed since, and is won’t be an understatement to say that he has evolved into one of the finest centre-backs in the world.
Long established as one of the mainstays in the Real Madrid defence, Pepe has played almost 350 times for the Spanish heavyweights, playing a fundamental role in the club’s successes over the years. At the same time, he is one of the most polarising figures in football as well, due to his combative attitude.
However, he still remains one of the most technically correct defenders in the world, which makes him a solid customer at the back. However, after a strong Euros in 2016, he has been pegged back massively by a spate of injuries this season that have restricted him to just 18 appearances across all competitions.
The latest of those injuries have seen him being sidelined for Real Madrid’s quarterfinal first leg encounter against Bayern Munich this week. However, despite the fitness issues he still remains a popular figure in Europe, with Los Blancos eager to retain his services as well.
The club have put a one-year deal on the table for the Portuguese defender to extend his stay in the Spanish capital for another season, but the report goes on to state that Pepe will only put pen to paper on a two-year extension.
If he doesn’t get that, he will choose to move on from the Santiago Bernabeu at the end of the season, with Chelsea, PSG as well as Hebei China Fortune in the Chinese Super League have made enquiries over a summer move.
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is seeking reinforcement all across the park in the summer in order to beef up his squad qualitatively as they look set to compete on all four fronts next season. Defence is one of the priority areas, and Pepe will definitely bring a lot of proven quality at the back for the Blues.
Meanwhile, Paris Saint-Germain have three top quality central defenders in Marquinhos, Thiago Silva and Presnel Kimpembe, but the former is being linked with a summer move away from Parc des Princes. Thus, Unai Emery could be forced into the market for a centre-back in the summer, with Pepe being one of the most viable options.
Real Madrid could still have a say in this matter, but if they do not offer a two-year contract to the Portuguese international, he could be on his way out with Chelsea and PSG waiting in the wings to grab hold of him.