Manchester City: £22 Million on Pepe Would Tarnish a Great Transfer Window

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterJuly 22, 2013

Manuel Pellegrini and Txiki Begiristain have wasted no time in securing high-profile, high-quality signings for Manchester City.

Two early arrivals were confirmed by the BBC in Fernandinho for £30 million and Jesus Navas for £14.9 million, then after taking a week or two to take stock, the club hit the market once more.

Alvaro Negredo for £25 million and Stevan Jovetic for £22 million arrived within 24 hours of each other, restocking the forward line following Carlos Tevez's defection to Juventus.

City have overpaid for Negredo and Fernandinho, no doubt, but they are still quality players with a good work ethic and immediately improve the side.

Navas for £15 million is a very good price, while it's arguable Jovetic is a bargain (given the current inflated rates).

All in all, a solid summer's work for Pellegrini and Begiristain, and while a significant chunk of cash has been spent, all four signings are undoubtedly good purchases.

Unfortunately, that notion of "good business" threatens to unravel given Paul Hetherington of The Daily Star's claims that the Citizens want Real Madrid defender Pepe at the Etihad Stadium.

Centre-back is an issue that needs a solution, as Vincent Kompany, Matija Nastasic and Joleon Lescott represent the only senior presences at that position.

Lescott has just one year left on his deal and will need serious playing time to be convinced to stick around longer, while a good choice for a fourth centre-back in Karim Rekik has been sent out on loan.

Given the star quality of the four signings so far, it's easy for the tabloids to draw a correlation to a big-name centre-half as the target.

Pepe is an established, quality defender who fits that bill, and the situation he finds himself in at the Bernabeu is none too favourable.

Raphael Varane—a 20-year-old prodigious defender who looks destined to become one of the best in the game—has overtaken him in the pecking order, partnering World Cup winner Sergio Ramos at the heart of Carlo Ancelotti's line.

City have the financial muscle to pay his wages, they need a centre-half, Pellegrini has worked with him before and Pepe's situation isn't great—seems a perfect fit, except for a few small issues.

Firstly, £22 million is quite the imaginative sum for a player who's 30 years old and out of favour. That's the same sum they've paid for Jovetic, who while already a top-class player, could go on to become an elite hybrid forward.

Second, Pepe's aggression issues (check out his YouTube highlight reel) have made him one of the most hated figures in football. His string of red cards, yellow cards, suspensions and habit of shoving referees is hardly a welcome trait, and why would City open themselves up to that?

Taking Pepe on—no matter the sum—would be a mistake but for £22 million? That's the sort of deal that erases any memory of the very reasonable previous four.