United poised to make shock Real Madrid raid

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Manchester United are reportedly keeping tabs on Real Madrid defender Pepe.

According to talkSPORT, Chelsea and Manchester City are also monitoring the situation of the Portugal international who is currently locked in a contractual dispute at the Bernabeu.

The 27-year-old is said to believe he should be in Real's top wage bracket but, with the Spanish giants seemingly reluctant to budge, a move to Manchester United could be on the cards.

Sir Alex Ferguson is thought to be an admirer of the centre-back but whether the Manchester United manager is prepared to launch a bid for his services is open to debate.

Pepe is allegedly demanding wages of more than £6 million a year and, with a first team place at Old Trafford not necessarily a guarantee, Manchester United are thought to be turned off.

A more pressing issue for Manchester United, however, is the acquisition on a new goalkeeper with current no.1 Edwin van der Sar set to retire in the summer.

Danish stopper Anders Lindegaard has already signed for Manchester United but Ferguson is on the lookout for at least one more gloveman during January.

“We haven’t finalised our thoughts on the goalkeeping situation," the Manchester United supremo said after the signing of Lindegaard.

“Edwin has massive experience and you can’t buy that, so it’s a difficult one because he has been a great goalkeeper and will be hard to replace.”

Current Manchester United no.2 Tomasz Kuszczak has also been tipped to leave Old Trafford in the summer so the Red Devils are expected to step up their pursuit of goalkeeping reinforcements.

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