The Real Madrid central defender Pepe is understood to be top of Manchester City's list of transfer targets – further evidence that the club are willing to invest in older players in an attempt to make an immediate impact in Europe under new manager, Manuel Pellegrini.

City are unlikely to face great resistance from Real to the idea of them taking the Portuguese centre-back, who is already third choice at the Bernabeu, where there is expected to be a clear-out this summer. The 30-year-old's arrival, for a probable price of £15m, would pose new questions about the future of Joleon Lescott at City.

Though City's policy last summer, with the purchase of Jack Rodwell and Scott Sinclair, was to bring in young players, Pepe would be the third experienced player to be signed this summer, after 28-year-old Fernandinho and 27-year-old Jesus Navas. As The Independent revealed last week, 27-year-old Seville striker Alvaro Negredo is also one of the club's man strike force targets following the departure of Carlos Tevez to Juventus.