Manchester City boss Pellegrini still keen on nabbing Pepe

Manchester City boss Pellegrini still keen on nabbing Pepe


Manchester City coach, Manuel Pellegrini, still has his sights set on Real Madrid defender Pepe, despite failed negotiations to bring him to Etihad Stadium during the summer. In fact, the Chilean manager’s need to strengthen the Sky Blues’ defensive line, has only increased his interest in the Portuguese centre back, who was already one of the English club’s top targets.

With the mid-season transfer window coming up in January, City is looking to make a second attempt at bringing Pepe to Manchester. The Citizens have had a difficult start to the season, particularly in their defensive play. This has largely been the result of influential centre back Vicent Kompany’s absences due to recurring knee injury.

Although recent reports had suggested Real Madrid would renew Pepe’s contract, this may no longer be the case, and if an interesting offer were to come from the northern English city, Real could be open to negotiating his sale, according to Punto Pelota.

Pepe signed on with Los Blancos from Porto in 2007, the day after new coach Bernd Schuster’s arrival. The defender contributed significantly to the 2007-08 and 2011-12 La Liga titles, and has been a key player for all five managers the club has had during his time in Madrid, including Manuel Pellegrini, who undoubtedly feels that he could benefit from the Portuguese centre back’s toughness if he could bring him to his current squad.

“The Engineer”, as the Chilean is known, coached Los Blancos in the 2009-10 season, becoming the first manager in Florentino Perez’s second stint as president. Shortly after his arrival, the cascade of Galacticos began: Kaka from Milan, Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United, Karim Benzema from Olympique Lyonnais, and Xabi Alonso from Liverpool. The top priority for the season, as ever, was the elusive “Decima”, the tenth Champion’s League trophy Real has pursued since its last win in 2002.

Despite a club record 96 points achieved in La Liga (and a respectable second place behind Barcelona, who finished 3 points ahead), Pellegrini was sacked at the end of the season. The mild-mannered Chilean was replaced by his polar opposite, Jose Mourinho, who broke his record in the 2011-12 season.