REAL MADRID

Dortmund defender Sokratis lined up as Pepe replacement - report

According to German newspaper Bild, Real Madrid have enquired about Borussia Dortmund centre back Sokratis Papastathopoulos in case the club decide not to hand Pepe a new contract.
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Morata protege el balón ante Sokratis.
PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU AFP

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A replacement for Real Madrid centre back Pepe – who is out of contact at the end of the season – could arrive from the Bundesliga, according to Bild.

Madrid are deliberating over offering Pepe a new deal

Pepe, 33, has still not renewed with the club and Los Blancos are said to be considering moving for another defender in case a new deal for the Portuguese cannot be reached, or if Pepe himself decided to call it a day at Madrid.

Madrid have enquired about Sokratis - Bild 

The German newspaper has linked Borussia Dortmund centreback Sokratis Papastathopoulos with a switch to the Spanish capital after Real Madrid reportedly enquired about the player during the two sides’ Champions League meeting last week.

Madrid's On-loan centre back Jesus Vallejo (r) is also a possible option to replace Pepe

Bild also report that Madrid scouts were present at Dortmund’s recent league games versus Eintracht and Gladbach, not only in preparation for the Group F clash but also to cast an eye over the Greek international.

Deal depends on sanction appeal decision 

In any case, Real Madrid are still bound by the pending decision of the Court of Arbitration of Sport over the club’s appeal against a FIFA transfer ban, which if rejected, means Madrid will not be able to make any new signings until 2018.

If the sanction is upheld and Pepe does leave in July, that would leave Los Blancos with just two natural centre halves, Ramos and Varane. However the versatile Nacho and the possible return of the on-loan Jesús Vallejo from Frankfurt, could serve as alternative solutions.