Jose Mourinho has hinted that Barcelona were interested in signing Pepe.
The 49-year-old made the claims at Friday’s press conference ahead of Real Madrid’ s clash with Celta Vigo on Saturday, following weeks of dispute between the fierce rivals over the player’s alleged conduct in matches between the two teams.
When asked about media speculation that Barcelona had compiled videos of Pepe committing fouls in Clasico matches he said: “I know nothing about a video of Pepe. I do know that while he was renewing his contract two big clubs pushed for him not to renew.
“I do not know if one of those big clubs was the one who recorded a video,” he added.
Madrid go into this weekend’s clash missing several players, with seven of the squad picking up injuries during the international break.
The defence has been worst hit, with Marcelo, Fabio Coentrao, Raphael Varane and Alvaro Arbeloa all missing.
“We have some different choices to cover our positions, people that will adapt to the situation. It’s a perfect day for you to give me the line-up,” Mourinho joked with the press.
The former Inter coach then responded to speculation that he would draft in the services of youth player Nacho to fill the void.
He said: “I’ve thought of Nacho at left-back of course, but he’s just another one. I’ve already decided who will play there.
“Just a couple of minutes after the national matches ended I had decided who would start,” he concluded.
Mourinho also took time out to say his side are more similar in style to Borussia Dortmund than they are to Barcelona.
“It doesn’t make sense. You can compare Barca with Arsenal, they have similar styles, but not with us. You could compare Borussia Dortmund with Real,” he stated.