Chinese Super League Rumors: Pepe to 'Snub' China Offers After Real Madrid Exit
Veteran defender Pepe is set to leave Real Madrid at the end of the season but will reportedly "snub" offers from the Chinese Super League to join Manchester City or Paris Saint-Germain in the summer.
Pepe has been linked with a move to former City manager Manuel Pellegrini's Hebei China Fortune in the Chinese first division. While the 34-year-old center back admitted that he is planning on a Real Madrid exit, a switch to the Far East is said to be out of the question as he wants to "play for a team in Europe capable of challenging for the Champions League," such as City or PSG, The Sun reported.
Like Us on Facebook
The 6-foot-2 Brazil-born Portuguese is in his 10th season with Los Blancos since he was acquired from Porto in the summer of 2007 for a transfer fee of around $32 million. He has appeared in a total of 333 games in all competitions for Real and had scored 14 goals so far.
Portugal national football team manager Fernando Santos is said to have advised Pepe to stay with the great teams in Europe. A Seleção will reportedly try to make a mark at the 2018 World Cup in Russia and going to China may decrease his chances of being included in the national team.
Both the Citizens and Les Parisiens are in need of an experienced central defender, and Pepe is a perfect fit to any of the two squads. PSG is missing the services of David Luiz, who moved to Chelsea last summer, while Pep Guardiola is looking for a veteran defender to pair with John Stones in the middle of the backfield.
Caught Offside reported that Pepe received a £10.3 million ($12.9 million) per year offer from Hebei China Fortune, but the Portuguese turned it down with the hope of remaining in Europe next season.
City and PSG are also said to be interested in signing Pepe, but there is still no indication of which team the veteran footballer will choose to sign with this summer.