Manchester City could revive their interest in Real Madrid defender Pepe in an attempt to sure up their leaky defence, according to the Manchester Evening News.
Pepe could find himself way down the pecking order in Madrid if the Spanish giants can seal a deal for Athletic Bilbao starlet Aymeric Laporte and that has alerted Manuel Pellegrini.
The City boss was heavily linked with a move for the Portuguese defender last summer but instead chose to splash out upwards of £30 million to bring in Eliaquim Mangala, but the French youngster has yet to prove his worth at the Etihad Stadium.
Pepe not needed in Madrid
31-year-old Pepe is currently a regular in Carlo Ancelotti's starting line-up, but with Raphael Varane waiting in the wings, and Laporte a summer target, he could soon find himself surplus to requirements.
That would pave the way for a move to the Premier League, and with his contract only having a year left to run Madrid may be keen to cash-in rather than lose him for nothing at the end of his existing deal.
Pepe's aggressive style of play would certainly help him adjust to Premier League football, but his erratic nature may also see him targeted as a weak-link by opposition bosses.
Why City need another defender
Having forked out big money to bring Mangala to England last summer, City may be reluctant to splash out on another defender, but they'd be wise to do so.
Vincent Kompany has suffered an injury plagued campaign thus far, and in his absence the Premier League champions have looked far from assured at the back.
At 34, Martin Demichelis, while normally dependable, is certainly not one for the future. Alongside him Mangala boasts obvious potential but his inconsistent displays have shown he's a long way from being the finished article.
City's leaky back line almost saw them eliminated from the Champions League group stage as surrendering leads to both Roma and CSKA Moscow made for a difficult path to the round of 16.
Is Pepe the right man?
While it's plain to see City's defence still needs work, whether or not Pepe is the answer is far from obvious.
The Portuguese defender has a liking for rash challenges and is known to be hot-headed on the field.
If Pellegrini is forced to spend big to find himself a long-term partner for Kompany he'd perhaps be wise to target Matts Hummels or Gerard Pique.
Hummels' Borussia Dortmund look a shadow of their former selves while Pique's form has dipped dramatically over the last two seasons meaning both could be available if the price is right.