Bengaluru, December 18: Former Real Madrid defender Pepe has left Besiktas with immediate effect after the Portuguese star's contract was terminated due to the Turkish side's financial issues.
The 35-year-old Portuguese joined the Turkish giants in July 2017 after leaving Real Madrid on a free transfer and has had been a regular since.
The Euro winner's deal was set to run until June 2019 and he is said to have been one of the team's highest earners with a two-year deal worth £9m with significant performance-based incentives attached. However, due to the club's growing financial struggles, they ultimately decided to cut their wage bill to reduce expenses. So, this resulted in them mutually ending the star defender's deal.
Pepe, however, reportedly left the side on good terms. The player apparently left a large chunk of money to the maintenance, kit and cooking staff after Besiktas's 2-2 draw with Trabzonspor at the Vodafone Park Stadium on Sunday (December 16) as a farewell gesture as he had grown close to them since joining the club last summer.
The 35-year-old later took to Twitter to thank the club and fans, along with a video of some of his best moments.
"Thank you to all Besiktas fans, administration, team-mates and staff for believing in my work," he wrote. "You deserve the best... I will never forget you."
Thank you to all @besiktas fans, administration, teammates and staff for believing in my work🙏🏻 You @besiktas deserve the BEST . I will never forget you @vodafonepark 📣🇹🇷— Pepe (@officialpepe) December 17, 2018
Remember ... No Bad Days🦅#P3PE #Pepe5 #NoBadDays pic.twitter.com/fz8a62ouK2
Pepe now has been linked with a move to Portuguese side FC Porto, while Premier League side Wolves, have also said to have registered their interest in Pepe.
The three times UCL winner made 17 appearances for the Turkish club this season despite injury issues and registered an impressive five goals.
Pepe was not the only star player to leave the side because of financial issues. The Black Eagles also parted ways with Spanish striker Alvaro Negredo, who joined Dubai-based club Al-Nasr in September, while Netherlands international Ryan Babel who only has just six months remaining on his contract has been told to leave once his contract expires.