Nicolás Otamendi would be a good replacement for Pepe at Real Madrid. This is what his agent thinks and it could be a great signing for Los Blancos although it would be a expensive one because Manchester City paid €48M to Valencia only two seasons ago.
One of Otamendi’s agents, Martín Sendoa, has said to Radio Intercontinental tha tthe defender would think to move to Madrid: “Nico has a similar profile to Pepe, who would leave at the end of the season. Real Madrid are following him since he played at Valencia, as Barcelona were doing. Who wouldn’t like to play at Real Madrid, the biggest team in the world. Perhaps I don’t want to talk that much…”, Sendoa said according to Fichajes.com.
Zinedine Zidane said recently that he wants Pepe to stay because he’s a symbol of the club. The Portuguese is again back with the group and he’s enjoying many minutes recently. However, his contract expires at the end of the current season and Chinese clubs want him. It might be Pepe’s last contract and the full back might be tempted by the great offers arriving from China.
Real Madrid second option is Jesús Vallejo. The former Zaragoza player is shining with Eintracht Frankfurt, so he could be ready to jump to Real Madrid first squad. However, Nico Kovac, his coach, wants him to stay and the Bundesliga club is already in talks with Los Blancos asking them to extend the deal with Jesús Vallejo.
Therefore, there could be an option for a fourth full back in Real Madrid squad in 2017/18. However, it could be unnecessary to sign a high profile defender as Nico Otamendi. Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos and Nacho Fernández are very young defenders and they are showing their quality this season. The fourth defender would be a need but it could be better to give the opportunity to a young player like Vallejo or a symbol like Pepe rather to another star like Nico Otamendi, who could be upset if he doesn’t have the minutes he expects.