Real Madrid defender Pepe bound for China: Report

Madrid, Jan 25 (IANS) Real Madrid’s 33-year-old central defender Pepe will join Chinese Super League side Hebei China Fortune when his contract expires at the end of June, according to a Spanish media report on Wednesday.

The Portuguese international, who turns 34 in February, has so far resisted offers of a new deal to remain in the Spanish capital, reports Xinhua.

Spanish radio station Cadena Cope said he has been offered 15.5 million euros (around $17 million) a season, around three times his current earnings, to move to China.

The chance to join Hebei China Fortune would be made more attractive by the fact that the club is currently being coached by Manuel Pellegrini, who was his coach at Real Madrid during the 2009-2010 season.

Pepe is currently sidelined from action in Spain by a calf injury which he picked up in December and which has kept him out for over a month.