Having spent 10 years at Real Madrid, Portuguese centre-back Pepe is an established figure within the squad and an icon for the club and institution as a whole, making the breakdown in his contract renewal talks all the more surprising.
One reason behind the discontent is that Real Madrid have made the second year of his proposed extension optional, as they are unsure the player can continue at the required level of play due to his age.
As a result of this, Pepe began hearing out other offers since the beginning of the season.
Pepe, in fact, came out and stated that he would wait for Real Madrid to budge on their proposed extension in the press mixed zone after a match this season, and the club itself were angered by the Portuguese’s antics.
The offer from China was the most lucrative in financial terms for the 33-year-old, who has only played in 11 matches this season.
In a cryptic post, the centre-back quoted George Washington on leadership, and it still isn’t certain whether he’ll stay or not, although the signs are becoming ever clearer as his future takes a turn away from the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.