Pepe leaves 'gift' after Besiktas exit

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Beşiktaş and Portuguese defender Pepe have reached a mutual decision to end his contract, the club announced yesterday in a surprise decision that has highlighted the current plight of the Turkish outfit.

After reaching the last-16 round of the UEFA Champions League with a squad assembled of some of Europe's most distinguished names, the club appeared on the rise.

However, their poor domestic performances and inability to reach Europe's elite club competition again saw the likes of Anderson Talisca, Alvaro Negredo and now the veteran Portuguese defender head for the exit door.

Ryan Babel has only been informed that hís contract will not be renewed at the end of the current season as they look towards slashing their wage bill amidst the financial constraints.

"Thanks for those great memories #Pepe," said the team on Twitter, along with a photo of the 35-year-old.

In a statement, the club said that Beşiktaş will pay €100,700 (R1.641m) to Pepe to cut him loose - but according to ESPN FC, the former Los Blancos defender has used the compensation and some of his own money as a gift to the unpaid staff of the club.

Pepe has racked up numerous successes during his career, including winning the UEFA Champions League and the Spanish La Liga three times before signing a two-year deal worth €9.5m before bonuses when he joined in 2017.

The 35-year-old who also received a bonus of €4,000 per game played in 52 official games and scored 7 goals.

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