Chelsea FC manager Jos Mourinho has reportedly set his sights on the Argentinian centre-back in a bid to boost his defensive options following the loan departure of young Dane Andreas Christensen
NicolA?s Otamendi has been drawing attention from some of Europea s top clubs following his outstanding season with Valencia, which saw him named in the official La Liga 2014-2015 Team of the Season alongside Barcelonaa s Gerard Piqu .
The 27-year-old is one of very few quality centre-backs in the market; indeed, the demand for a top central defender is currently significantly greater than the supply. That, in part, is the reason several top clubs are chasing the Argentina international, and Chelsea FC appear to be the latest to enter the race for his signature.
According to Valencia-based newspaper Superdeporte, Jos Mourinho has asked friend and super-agent Jorge Mendes to bring Otamendi to Chelsea FC. Mourinho reportedly sees the Argentinian as a long-term successor to 34-year-old John Terry, who is coming off the back of one of his best seasons with the Blues.
The report also indicates that Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain are very keen on the Argentinian, with the future of Brazilians Marquinhos and Thiago Silva said to be in doubt. The playera s salary demands of a 3.5-4m per season seem to be agreeable to all his potential suitors.
a Superdeporte (@superdeporte_es) July 10, 2015
Although Terry was essential to Chelseaa s title win last season a playing every single minute of the Premier League season a it is probably the right time to start looking for a medium to long-term replacement for the Englishman, particularly considering that centre-back partner and compatriot Gary Cahill turns 30 this year and looks noticeably worse when not playing alongside the Bluesa skipper.
Whether Otamendi is the right option as that replacement, however, is another question altogether. The Argentinian reportedly has a a 50m release clause in his contract a not an amount to be scoffed at, particularly for a centre-back. The likes of John Stones and Antonio RA?diger who have also been linked with Chelsea FC are likely to cost far less.
On the other hand, with Andreas Christensen departing on loan, Chelsea FC now have three central defenders in 29-year-old Cahill, 34-year-old Terry and 20-year-old Kurt Zouma. Branislav Ivanovi , who could fill in if needed, is 31.
That is, perhaps, what makes 27-year-old Otamendi an attractive option for Mourinho a a player that is very much in the peak years of his career, and could be the one constant in the transition from John Terry and Gary Cahill to the likes of Kurt Zouma and Andreas Christensen.
Chelsea FC do not seem particularly desperate for a centre-back at the moment, however, and a commitment of such a massive amount would be quite unlikely. Unless a club meets his release clause in the near future, the Otamendi saga could well continue for the rest of the summer transfer window.