Louis van Gaal's hopes of landing one defender on his ever growing wishlist can be scribbled out as Chelsea have come in to swoop for Raphael Varane, reports the Daily Express.
However, it hasn't taken the Dutchman to add another centre back to his shopping list as Pepe has been rumoured to be sparking interest from Manchester United.
Jose Mourinho is looking to strengthen his defensive options an after missing out on Varane in the summer, the Portuguese boss is coming in for second helpings. Despite strong interest from the former boss of the Frenchman, Carlo Ancelotti is keen to hold onto the 21-year-old and wants to help him develop into a world class player at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Upon the arrival of Varane at Real, Pepe has been somewhat stranded in the middle of nowhere as his game time has been limited and his place in the starting eleven has recently been guaranteed few and far between.
United's noisy neighbours, City, are looking for a sidekick to play alongside Vincent Kompany at the Etihad in replacement of Martin Demichelis and Pepe may take Manuel Pellegrini's fancy.
With Louis van Gaal's concerning injury blows amongst the back line at Old Trafford, the Dutchman's wishlist for a defender has gone into overload with Gerard Pique, Benedikt Howedes, Miranda and Eder Alvarez Balanta all cropping up to name a few.
But with Pepe's unlikelihood of featuring for Real Madrid on a regular basis, he could be forced out of the Santiago Bernabeu with a defensive crowd overpowering the 31-year-old.
This would therefore clear the path for either United or City to make a move for the Portuguese star who has an outstanding 177 appearances with 9 goals for the Champions League victors.