Manchester United’s search for a central defender has taken Louis van Gaal’s scouts to Spain where Nicolas Otamendi has been busy re-establishing himself in Valencia’s team with some impressive displays.
Following United’s humiliating implosion at Leicester which saw United ship five goals, Van Gaal is now convinced he needs to bring in fresh defensive bodies to supplement the likes of youngster Tyler Blackett.
26-year-old Argentine, Otamendi, spent the second-half of last season on loan at Atletico Mineiro, but new Los Che manager Nuno Espirito Santo, who managed him at Porto, has been keen to reintegrate him from the off this season.
Otamendi had formerly been a target of both Manchester City and Chelsea before signing for Valencia in a deal worth £9.5m back in January.
The fact that he signed a five-year contract with the Spanish club means any bids for his services will have to be sizeable if United are to prise the defender away.
A fee of £40m is being reported by some media sources, but if the cash continues to be made available to LVG, who has already splashed around £150m this summer, the deal seems plausible.
It’s widely recognised that while the 13-time Premier League champions are now flush with world-class attacking options, the side is heavily lopsided.
The departures of the club’s two greatest centre-halves of the last decade, Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand have not properly been accounted for, with injuries to others compounding the situation.
The Red Devils’ porous backline will next be tested against a West Ham side buoyed by an impressive 3-1 win over Liverpool at Upton Park.
Marcos Rojo and co are 1/1 to shut out Sam Allardyce’s visitors to Old Trafford.
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