The 27-year-old has reportedly been looking for a move away from Valencia this summer, and it seems a tug-of-war is set to ensue between Manchester United and Manchester City for the Argentinian’s signature
NicolA?s Otamendi is due to resume pre-season training with Valencia in less than a week, which appears to have brought his transfer situation to a head. With the player agitating for a move away from the club, it will be left to United and City to satisfy Valencia’s financial demands for the centre-back.
Manchester clubs hold talks with Otamendi’s representatives in Portugal
Valencia-based media outlet Superdeporte have reported that Manchester United as well as Manchester City held talks with Otamendi’s agent Eugenio Lopez in Porto, with super-agent Jorge Mendes also present to broker the potential transfer.
Esta es nuestra portada de hoy. pic.twitter.com/lgpt3lwyig
a Superdeporte (@superdeporte_es) July 20, 2015
The reports claim that Valencia are likely to receive bids from the two clubs some time this week, with both teams preparing to offer Otamendi a salary between a 3.5-a 4 million per season. However, Valencia refuse to budge from their stance of not accepting any bids below the player’s buy-out clause of a 50 million, and that is likely to be the biggest stumbling block in a potential deal.
The reports of the meeting between the Manchester clubs and Otamendi’s representatives were corroborated by fellow Valencia-based outlet Levante EMV, who are in agreement that neither of the Premier League teams are willing to meet the defender’s buy-out clause. If Otamendi were to leave, however, it is believed Valencia will target another Argentine centre-back in Ezequiel Garay.
Manchester United the more likely destination
Manchester City’s interest in Otamendi – if it were proved to be genuine – would be surprising given the club spent a reported A?32 million on Eliaquim Mangala just last summer, and have a promising young centre-back in Belgian Jason Denayer on their books.
Spending a huge fee on Otamendi would make little sense unless the club have already given up on Mangala – with the Frenchman enduring a torrid season despite making an impressive d but against Chelsea.
Manchester United, on the other hand, need a centre-back to go straight into their starting line-up, and Otamendi would thus be an ideal addition for Louis van Gaal’s side. The Red Devils will probably be the more attractive option even from the player’s point of view, given there would likely be less competition for a spot in the first team.
Whether or not both clubs make serious enough offers remains to be seen, but as it stands, Manchester United are the more likely destination for the want-away Valencia superstar.