Man City line-up Kyriakos Papadopoulos and Paolo Cannavaro as Pepe alternatives
Schalke’s Kyriakos Papadopoulos and Napoli’s Paolo Cannavaro are on Manchester City’s list of alternatives should they fail to land top target Pepe.
The Real Madrid defender has been linked with a move to City since before Manuel Pellegrini had been officially confirmed as their new manager so keen was the Chilean to sign him.
But not deal has yet been reached to sign the Portugal international and Pellegrini does not want to get to the end of August without adding an extra centre-back to his squad.
Papadopoulos, aged 21, is Pellegrini’s next choice. His current club Schalke are in no hurry to sell on the cheap.
Of interest in their young defender, sporting director Horst Heldt said: “There are a lot of clubs to take into account.”
Napoli skipper Cannavaro, the 32-year-old brother of Italy’s World Cup-winning captain Fabio, would be an easier option, but he is further down Pellegrini’s list of targets.
Although a solid performer, he has never hit the heights of his brother and, at this stage of his career, would be a short-term fix.
City have been pushed into the market for a defender after Matija Nastasic was ruled out for up to six weeks. After Kolo Toure joined Liverpool, Joleon Lescott and Vincent Kompany are the only established centre-backs in the senior squad.