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Tuesday 27. December 2016 - 12:57

Zinedine Zidane picks Jesus Vallejo as his 'chosen one' as Spanish giants Real Madrid prepare for life without Pepe

Zinedine Zidane has chosen Jesus Vallejo as his permanent replacement for Pepe at Real Madrid, according to reports.

Marca write that contract talks between Real Madrid and Pepe have stalled, with the centre back keen on a big-money move to the Chinese Super League when his deal runs out at the end of the season.

With that in mind, Zidane is preparing for life without his defensive stalwart, and has reportedly pointed to Vallejo as the man to take Pepe's place.

The 19-year-old has been on two loan moves during his time at the Bernabeu, first at his former club Real Zaragoza and now at Eintracht Frankfurt.

The Spain Under 21 international is flourishing in the Bundesliga, and Marca write that Real Madrid see him as being ready for a first-team call-up despite his young age.

A recent quote from Frankfurt boss Niko Kovac explains their thoughts on the player: 'I have not seen such a player either as a footballer or as a coach. This guy is a scandal.'

In fact, the German club have even been in touch with Madrid in an attempt to extend the loan deal, but Zidane has a different plan.

Marca's front page on Tuesday carries a picture of the youngster, with the headline ' Pepe's successor' and the line ' Zidane's chosen one'.

Pepe has been at Real Madrid for 10 years but his desire for a two-year contract extension at the age of 34 has left him and the club at odds.

Madrid are more keen to offer a one-year deal, according to Marca, and they report that Manuel Pellegrini's Hebei China Fortune have tabled a €10million per season offer for the Portugal man.

He currently earns €4.5m a season and is said to be considering the huge wage increase offered by Pellegrini and Co.

Provided by: Frank Henriksen
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