Meet the Argentine star set to shore up man United’s defence

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Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has reportedly been given a £30m budget to shore up the Red Devils’ porous defence, with Valencia ace Nicolas Otamendi at the top of the list.

Rumours persist then Borussia Dortmund star Mats Hummels is the ultimate object of Van Gaal’s affection but the 26-year-old Argentina could prove a better value option.

Otamendi would cost a fraction of the price BVB would command for their World Cup winning skipper and while the South American may not have matched Hummels on the international scene he is already a highly decorated defender.

The Buenos Aires-born centre back won an Argentine title with Valez Sarsfield back in 2009 in a standout season that saw him snapped up by Portuguese giants Porto.

The success flowed after the move to Europe, with a host of trophies including three Portuguese titles and the 2011 Europe League.

Check out Otamedi doing his thing for Porto:

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As the defensive lynchpin of that side Otamendi caught the attention of Valencia and despite instantly being sent on loan to Brazil’s Atletico Mineiro, the 6ft centre-half has now been given his chance in La Liga, with 14 starts for Los Che this term.

Van Gaal has seen his porous defence ship 17 goals already this season and, while they have conceded just three during their current six-game winning streak, the Dutchman knows new faces are required if his side is to press on.

The Red Devils are currently priced at 1/12 to secure a top four finish, but should the likes of Otamendi arrive in the New Year, backing a resurgent United to tighten up at the back and go on to win the title could prove a wiser selection at 12/1.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.