Manchester United are all set to make a formal bid for Real Madrid star Pepe, who is out of contract at the end of this season, The Sun reports.
United boss Jose Mourinho wants to secure the deal for the 33-year-old in the summer, not in January, after talks with Madrid stopped as the defender fell down the Bernabeu pecking order.
Pepe, who won the Euro 2016 with Portugal last summer, is now attracting interest from all over Europe and China.
But he has a special place in Mourinho’s heart, and the former Real Madrid boss is hoping to steal a march on everyone else interested by making an early offer. He regards Pepe as the perfect cover player, an experienced figure to help mould United’s current defensive crop of Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly into an even tighter unit.
Tottenham are also said to be interested in tempting him to the Premier League, but it seems Manchester United are his first choice if he decides to move to England.
United will, however, find it difficult to match the financial rewards which will be on offer if Pepe considers interests from China.
The Real Madrid star, who has won two Champions League crowns with the La Liga giants, has been linked with a Chinese Super League move recently.
Like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Pepe is also a fighting character who has previous work experience with Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese boss understands his compatriot from their time together at Real, where Mourinho was in charge from 2010 to 2013, and that familiarity will help when managing the defender.