Portuguese defender, Pepe has signed a contract extension that will keep him at Real Madrid until 2017. Pepe, 32, who has been linked over recent seasons with a move to English clubs Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United, has prolonged his stay at the Bernabeu club for another two seasons at least. The news follows his long-term centre-back partner Sergio Ramos also signing a new contract at Madrid, ending what had been a long summer of speculation that he could be moving to England.

“Real Madrid and Pepe have agreed the extension of the player’s contract, to remain at the club until 30 June 2017,” said the short club statement announcing the news. Pepe joined Madrid from Porto for €30 million in 2007, and has been a first choice for subsequent coaches Manuel Pellegrini, Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti.

He is also expected to start Sunday’s La Liga opener at Sporting Gijon under new Blancos coach Rafa Benitez, having returned to full training this week after overcoming the thigh muscle strain which saw him miss Madrid’s last two preseason friendlies.