Real Madrid: Another surprise departure?

Reports in the British press have suggested that Real Madrid’s highly celebrated star, Pepe, will be one the next big names to move to the quickly emerging Chinese league when his contract expires at El Bernabeu.

The 34-year-old has a contract which runs until June of this year and then he will be a free agent.

He currently earns around £5.5m per year but the ridiculous offer from The Far East will almost triple that to an eye-bulging £15m per year.

And Sky Sports reckons that the veteran has been targeted by a newly minted Chinese Superleague side:

Pepe hasn’t always been the most popular footballer outside of Real Madrid, with his no nonsense and combative style.

But he has been a wonderful servant to the club through one of the most successful periods in their history.

The Portuguese international, with 78 caps and four goals to his name for his country, started his professional career at Maritimo in Portugal.

His qualities were soon spotted by Portuguese giants Porto, who snapped him up in 2004 for just 1m Euros and three players. There he played 88 games and scored 8 goals before a dream move to Real Madrid in 2007.

Over ten hugely successful seasons at the club he has become a household name and regularly courted controversy with some borderline criminal challenges. But he has played 327 times for Real Madrid and scored 14 goals.

He will be a difficult player to replace and while Real Madrid do have the brilliant Raphael Varane to step into the breach over the coming years, Los Blancos will surely miss Pepe’s aggression and sheer will to win.

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