After ten years together at the Santiago Bernabeu, the Portuguese defender Pepe has bid adieu to Real Madrid at the end of the current season. Though the ending could have been a tad sweeter for both the sides, now Pepe is a free transfer agent, having not being offered a new contract by the Galacticos and has a probability to join the Chinese side Hebei China Fortune to continue his football career in the forthcoming season.
Pepe was kept on the bench for most of the season this term, which infuriated the veteran Portuguese and later on, Zinedine Zidane took the decision to not continue with him in the new season. The French mastermind wants to replace him with someone fairly young and can be a good prospect for the team in the future.
A few potential candidates who can fit into the shoes left by the centre-back this summer might be the ones in the following lines-
The ex-Valencia defender, who currently plays for the Premier League side Manchester City, might be a good replacement in the Real Madrid backline for the Portuguese ace. He has been one of the defenders who had a mixed kind of season in the Premier League for him and his club, and Real Madrid might make good use of his skills to strengthen their backline in the next season. Reportedly, the Galacticos are looking to bag the Argentine centre back and might launch a bid for him in the summer.
The Spanish international has been one the best defenders playing for Atletico Bilbao in the La Liga and has played a pivotal role for the last few seasons in his club’s heart of defence. The player has been eyed by the current coach of Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane, who has been a great admirer of the Spanish youngster and might look to bring him into the squad to replace Pepe in the next season. The centre-back will definitely be a stupendous addition to the team but might have to sit out with both Rafael Varane and Sergio Ramos fit for the time being.
The Brazilian centre-back has made a big impact since his arrival in European football in the last summer, at the Portuguese side Porto. Rated as one of the best defenders, Real Madrid have been keen to bring the player in from his current club. He reportedly has a £43 million release clause on him, which might be a turn-off for Real.