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Possible Pepe transfer to Chelsea will open up space for Mourinho target Nemanja Vidic

Real Madrid centre back Pepe has alerted Chelsea that he will not be renewing his contract at Real Madrid, and that he would be willing to look into a move to the London club.

The Portuguese international, 27, has been in talks with Madrid through his agent Jorge Mendes for over a year now and is said by Spanish media to have given up on getting his requested salary of five point eight million euros a year.

Real’s best offer up till now has been three million euros plus an extra million in bonuses and performance money. Pepe believes he deserves to be one of the clubs top earners, a view not shared by Real manager Jose Mourinho who would be willing to see off the centre back to his former club. Pepe’s contract will run out at Madrid at the completion of next season.

Chelsea will contact Real in January, but won’t make a bid for the defender until the summer. However Pepe’s wage demands may also put Chelsea off a deal, especially if the Blues can pick up another defensive target, Benfica’s David Luiz in January.

One of the motives behind Mourinho’s willingness to let Pepe go is the space left in the defensive ranks for Manchester United centre back Nemanja Vidic, A long term target for Madrid. United are bracing themselves for a mega 65 million pound offer during the summer for someone widely considered the best centre back in world football.

While the initial sum will surely rise if the deal is to go through, United are desperate to retain Vidic, so Madrid may be looking at matching the fee they paid United for Cristiano Ronaldo 18 months ago. But if the money does get that high, the Manchester outfit will start considering the fact that the have 700 million pounds of debt still to pay off.

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