Today’s rumor has it that Pellegrini is preparing to bid for Pepe once again. This is after attempts last season to sign him failed, with Man City settling for Demichelis. The 31 year old Portuguese who signed for the Spanish giants for €30 million from Porto in 2007, has spent 7 years with Real Madrid and in the period won the champions league, the UEFA Supercup, two league titles, two Copa del Roy, and two Supercopa de Espana. He has also appeared 173 times scoring eight goals.
A central defender who is a mean tackler, he has had his fair share of on pitch controversies, with various sending off, mostly due to his reaction to opposing players. Two incidences which have been the most controversial, has been his intentional stamping of Lionel Messi’s hand, who was on the floor after being fouled, though he was cleared of wrongdoing, while the second was the altercation he had with Javier Casquero, then of Getafe on 21 April 2009. He had upended Casquero in the penalty area and was issued a red card, rather than leave, he kicked twice, pushed his head into the turf and stamped on him and then hit Casquero’s teammate Juan Angel Albin in the face. These two incidences highlights the sort of controversies he is always linked and he has always put his team on the line during such times.
Aside his controversies, he is also prone to injury. Over the 7 years he has spent a significant amount of on the sidelines. If indeed Pellegrini wants to sign him, he must be thinking of Pepe replacing Demichelis, however, Demichelis has recently asked that his contract be renewed and I believe renewing his contract will make more sense than signing Pepe, as Man City will have to cough up to €10 million to convince Real Madrid to allow him leave. Such a purchase will eat significantly into their transfer kitty, as the FFP sanctions on the club states that they are limited to €49 million, and they might prefer using such amount to purchase a viable replacement for Toure. Also, the club has a limit to the players they can register for the Champions league, after all that was the reason why Garcia, and Negredo had to leave. Given his controversial nature, I doubt that City will want to have such a player on their books, the systemic ridding of Balotelli and Tevez who were generating bad news and bring unwanted attention to the club comes to mind.
There is also that feeling of City no longer needing a defender, having signed Eliaquim Mangala from Porto in the summer but rather needing to strength their midfield and forward, especially their forward, with City having only 3 recognized strike force, i.e. Aguero, Dzeko and Jovetic, with Negredo away on loan at Valencia. Surely Pellegrini will be more worried about his strikers than thinking of signing a defender in the next transfer window.