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  

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor