Transfer news: Pepe returns to Manchester City radar after Manuel Pellegrini admits his defence needs 'fixing'

City's new boss hasn't been pleased with the eight goals conceded in three games and is set to make a £20m-plus offer for Pepe despite having already spent £90m on new signings

Manchester City’s concerns over central defender Matija Nastasic has led them to renew their interest in Real Madrid defender Pepe, with reports in Spain claiming the Premier League runners-up are trying to negotiate a deal with their Spanish counterparts.

New City boss Manuel Pellegrini was keen on strengthening his defence before Nastasic picked up the injury during the Barclays Asia Trophy – played on the atrocious Hong Kong Stadium pitch – and after his side conceded eight goals in three pre-season games, he will step up attempts to sign the Portuguese international.

Pellegrini has been a long-time fan of Pepe’s, but Real rejected a £15m offer last month as they look to hold onto the 30-year-old.

But Spanish newspaper Marca has said that City’s director of football Txiki Begiristain is in Spain to try and negotiate a transfer, while Cadena Cope broke the news along with the claims that Atletico Madrid’s Martin Demichelis is also on their radar.

It is suggested they are willing to go above £20m in their attempts to sign Pepe, who has fallen behind Sergio Ramos and Raphael Verane in the centre-back pecking order. However, Varane’s recovery from a knee operation during the summer has taken a little longer than expected, and new boss Carlo Ancelotti may wish to hold on to Pepe, in which case City will accept defeat and look elsewhere.

Having already signed £90m worth of new players, City have failed to add a defender to their squad, with the acquisitions of Fernandinho, Jesus Navas, Stefan Jovetic and Alvaro Negredo providing the club with a formidable attack for the upcoming season.

They have also been linked with Schalke defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos, but after Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Premier League rivals Arsenal in Helsinki, Pellegini is keen to improve his leaking defence.

“We’ll see next week if I can bring in the player I need,” Pellegrini said in the wake of the defeat to the Gunners. “We have conceded too many goals and we will have to find ways to fix that.”

Both Scott Sinclair and Alex Nimely are expected to leave the club this week having failed to make an impact on Moss side. Sinclair joined the Citizens last summer, but saw his opportunities severely limited and the English winger has been told by Pellegrini he is no longer needed at the club.

West Brom have been linked with the 24-year-old along with Everton and Newcastle, but bookies slashed the odds on a move to Liverpool to link-up with his former boss Brendan Rodgers after Stewart Downing joined West Ham yesterday for around £6m.

Nimely has risen through the ranks since joining the club in 2008, but he has been training with Championship side Doncaster Rovers ahead of a move after spending time on loan at Middlesbrough, Coventry and Crystal Palace.

Scott Sinclair has been told he can leave the Etihad Scott Sinclair has been told he can leave the Etihad  

Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments