Manchester United linked with summer move for Pepe

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Manchester United are planning a summer move for controversial Real Madrid centre-back Pepe as Sir Alex Ferguson makes plans to reinforce is defence, it has been claimed.

The Portugal international has established himself as Jose Mourinho's central defender of choice alongside Sergio Ramos this season, and has enjoyed his finest campaign at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Pepe's performances have seemingly alerted Manchester United, and the Premier League champions are now being linked with a move for his services during the transfer window.

According to Portuguese newspaper Record, Ferguson wants to bolster his defensive options, and has identified the 29-year-old as a candidate to move to Old Trafford.

United have struggled for consistency in central defence this season, with Jonny Evans the only defender to boast a relatively unblemished injury record over the course of the campaign.

Ferguson lost captain Nemanja Vidic for the remainder of the season late last year, while Rio Ferdinand has struggled with persistent niggles as he enters into the twilight of his career.

Youngsters Chris Smalling and Phil Jones have also struggled to stay fit, and Ferguson would appear keen to improve on the options currently at his disposal.

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