Real Madrid defender Pepe has been ruled out for two to three weeks after bruising his ribs during yesterday’s 2-2 draw against Atletico Madrid. The Portugal international suffered in the injury while battling Raul Garcia for a 50/50 ball early on in the contest.
After the match, Pepe was taken to the hospital where he underwent a series of tests and x-rays before being placed under observation for 48 hours. His rib injury was confirmed this morning on Real Madrid’s official website.
It is expected that defender Raphael Varane will step in as a replacement and be partnered alongside Sergio Ramos.
Programming note: Getafe vs. Real Madrid will be shown LIVE on Sunday morning starting at 6:00am EST on beINSPORTS and DishWorld.
Varane has been the subject of transfer speculation in the media due to what is perceived as his lack of first-team playing time – the 21-year-old has only featured in nine league matches (five as a starter and four as a substitute).
Various European clubs have been linked with the talented central defender’s name including: Bayern Munich, Chelsea and both Manchester clubs.
But it is difficult to believe the speculation surrounding the France international’s future at the La Liga club since Real Madrid have just signed the young defender to a long-term contract extension which won’t run out until June 2020.
Varane has also featured in all of the Spanish club’s Champions League, Club World Cup, Copa del Rey and Spanish Supercup matches.
With Pepe injured – and the Portuguese defender turning 32 in February – it’s likely that Varane will use the next two to three weeks to stake his claim as Sergio Ramos’ new centre-back partner under manager Carlo Ancelotti.
Varane actually replaced Pepe in Madrid’s starting eleven under former manager Jose Mourinho.
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