Manchester City have stepped up their pursuit of Real Madrid defender Pepe.The Sun says new Etihad boss Manuel Pellegrini has made the Bernabeu favourite, 30, his top defensive target this summer.

He wants a new centre-back as Kolo Toure moved to Liverpool earlier in the close season and Joleon Lescott has just one year left on his contract.

But the Spanish giants are looking for around £20million.

Pellegrini rates Pepe as one of the best defenders in La Liga, despite his reputation as a hothead.