Transfer news: Manchester City to turn attentions to Atletico Madird centre-back Martin Demichelis after missing out on Pepe

The Argentinian was part of Manuel Pellegrini's Malaga side last season and could leave Los Rojiblancos without playing a competitive game for the club

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The Independent Football

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is attempting to persuade Argentinian international Martin Demichelis in his attempt to fix his faltering defence after the club’s pursuit of Real Madrid defender Pepe proved unsuccessful.

Demichelis played under Pellegrini at Malaga last season, but he joined Atletico Madrid on a one-year deal after his contract expired. However, it seems he could leave the club without playing a competitive fixture for the Spanish Super Cup winners, after Pellegrini identified the 32-year-old as the solution to his problems.

The Chilean manager already has Vincent Kompany, Matija Nastasic and Joleon Lescott to choose from as well as shifting Javi Garcia back from his usual defensive midfield position, but he is keen on having a fourth centre-back after City conceded eight goals in just three pre-season games.

Demichelis has 37 caps for his country and was a key figure in Malaga’s Champions League quarter-final run last season, having joined the club from Bayern Munich in 2011.

Having already spent over £90m on the acquisitions of Fernandinho, Jesus Navas, Stevan Jovetic and Alvaro Negredo, Pellegrini is willing to continue his summer spending to ensure he adds experience to the defence.

His problem was compounded further by the ankle injury picked up by Nastasic during the Barclays Asia Trophy in Hong Kong that will keep the central defender out for at least another month.

Pellegrini had admitted his admiration of Pepe, and director of football Txiki Begiristain had flown to Spain to try and negotiate a deal, but Carlo Ancelotti’s preference to keep hold of the Portuguese international has forced City to look elsewhere.