Manchester United have reportedly had enquiries for Real Madrid defender Pepe shunned as they bid to add a new defender in January.
United boss Louis van Gaal is said to be on the lookout for a new defender as the Dutchman attempts to consolidate his side’s place in the top four of the Premier League come next May.
Despite the Red Devils’ likeliness of comfortably qualifying for next season's Champions League, their defence has been somewhat of a concern for most of the campaign and the lack of a leader is evident.
Diego Godin and Mats Hummels have been mentioned, but according to the Spanish paper Marca it appears United were instead looking at Madrid’s Pepe.
The Portuguese ace has often been linked with a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu in the press though his renowned super-agent Jorge Mendes is extra adamant that his client is going nowhere.
"United have twice made enquiries to Jorge Mendes about Pepe's situation and on both occasions the defender's agent has ruled out any possibility of even laying the groundwork for a potential deal. 'It's not going to happen', was Mendes's curt response," the report in Marca states.
The 31-year-old centre-back has been a mainstay in Madrid’s XI this season, starting 12 La Liga matches and restricting the highly-rated Raphael Varane to a place on the bench.
Pepe's unavailability will force Van Gaal to look elsewhere, but given their position in the league it may be wiser for United to hold out until the summer when market prices are deemed much fairer.