Pep Guardiola already looks to be targeting new centre-backs as he turns one eye to next season.
A combination of Vincent Kompany’s injury problems and a difficult maiden season for John Stones has made the defence a significant worry.
According to Spanish publication Marca, Real Madrid’s Pepe is on City’s radar, though they will have to overcome interest from Paris Saint-Germain in the race for his signature.
The Portuguese defender has been able to talk to clubs outside La Liga since January as he runs down the final few months of his contract at the Bernabeu.
The 34-year-old has been with Los Blancos for 10 years, but with Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos now surpassing him in Zinedine Zidane’s thinking, that stay is unlikely to continue.
It may only be a short-term fix for Guardiola, though Pepe will be able to offer the same experience as Kompany and can offer more minutes of service on the pitch.
It’s understood the player has already turned down an offer of 12million euros a year from Manuel Pellegrini’s Chinese Super League team, Hebei Fortune, because his preference is to continue testing himself in a top European league.