Turkish club Besiktas announced on Monday that veteran Portuguese international defender Pepe has terminated his contract with the club with immediate effect.

The former Porto and Real Madrid defender has been with the Istanbul club since the summer of 2017 after ten years in the Spanish capital, but is now able to speak to other clubs over the winter period as a free agent.

Besiktas confirmed the news on Monday, stating that the decision was a mutual agreement, and indications are that Pepe is to be paid €100,000 as part of the separation. The statement read “thank you for your services, Pepe,” and wished the 35-year-old the best in his future.

For his part, Pepe said: “Thank you to all the supporters of Besiktas, to the administration, colleagues and staff for believing in my work, they deserve the best, I will never forget you."

Pepe’s contract was due to expire in 2019, but with the club keen to cut costs has agreed to end his deal early. According to a report from ESPN, the Seleção star demonstrated his appreciation of the club’s wider family by leaving a substantial tip to the staff on leaving.

As one of the most decorated Portuguese players of his generation, Pepe is unlikely to be short of offers as he assesses his next step. Could a return to Portugal be on the cards for the European Champion?

By Sean Gillen

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I wonder if the Wolves will pick him up?

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“The plan was to create a system to help Bernardo cut inside. The problem is we don't play by ourselves and Ukraine packed the midfield to counter this.”

Fernando Santos
(Portugal coach after 0-0 draw at home to Ukraine)