Valencia’s wantaway Otamendi orders desired Man Utd move
Manchester United have impressively revitalised their midfield and attacking ranks this summer, with many high-profile signings arriving on time for pre-season, but Dutch boss Louis van Gaal is still in search of defensive reinforcements.
Dominant Valencia centre back Nicolas Otamendi is a particular defender that the Dutchman is keen to snap up this summer, and it seems the Argentina international desires a switch to Old Trafford too (6/1 with Coral to win Premier League).
The 26-year-old La Liga star has enjoyed a superb maiden campaign in Spain’s top-flight but is reportedly set to force through a move to the Red Devils, with the talented defender having a £35.65m release clause in his current contract.
Otamendi is believed to have a move to the red half of Manchester firmly in his mind, following plenty of earlier interest in his services from the rejuvenated Premier League outfit.
It’s clear that Van Gaal will need a boost in his defensive ranks, having had to rely on several youngsters last term in his rear guard, including Tyler Blackett, Jesse Lingard and Paddy McNair. Although, the latter Northern Irishman did make the most of his opportunity in the first-team, and many more youth starlets will be hoping to follow his lead by making an impact on United’s pre-season tour of America.
Despite boasting promising youngsters, a steady centre back will be Van Gaal’s next priority for next season, and astute Argentine Otamendi fits the bill perfectly, despite previously looking at Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos.
A move for Ramos looks dead in the water now, despite strong speculation recently, and Otamendi’s potential arrival could see a solid all-Argentine defensive pairing at Old Trafford.
The sought-after Valencia defender’s fellow countryman Marcos Rojo was one of the stand out performers at Old Trafford last season, after recovering from an early injury, and both he and Otamendi could forge a supreme partnership.
Both defenders recently witnessed their Copa America dreams dashed in a bitter penalty shoot-out defeat in the final to hosts Chile, though they proved their class for La Albiceleste, with Rojo starring at left back (8/1 to win 2018 World Cup).
The current crop of United defenders have had the chance to cement their place in the starting line-up for some time now, with some succeeding and others failing to prove their worth.
Chris Smalling became a vital aspect of Van Gaal’s rear guard in last season’s run-in, while Phil Jones managed to earn himself a new contract, but Northern Irishman Jonny Evans is being heavily linked with an Old Trafford departure.
The possible arrival of Otamendi could ultimately cost Evans his place in the squad, with Everton tipped to land the Northern Ireland skipper, but united will want to wrap up a deal swiftly with Chelsea also rumoured to be interested in their Argentine target.
Valencia’s combative defender was a key aspect of their successful capturing of a Champions League place in La Liga last term and his aggressive nature, coupled with his astute all-round abilities, would undoubtedly see him become an Old Trafford star.