Manchester United set to miss out on £12.3m Argentina star

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Manchester United could be set out to miss out on Porto defender Nicolas Otamendi amid rumours that he could move to Russia or the Ukraine, according to talkSPORT.

The aforementioned source speculates that Zenit St. Petersburg are admirers of the Argentine international, with the Russian transfer window due to close on February 24. And with the Ukrainian window open until March, talkSPORT suggest that Porto could look to sell him soon.

25-year-old Otamendi, who joined the Primeira Liga champions from Velez Sarsfield in August 2010, was linked with a move away from Estadio do Dragao towards the latter stages of the transfer window, with defending Premier League champions Manchester United said to have lodged an offer of £12.3 million for his services last week as David Moyes presumably sought to strengthen his defensive options.

Otamendi's proposed move to Old Trafford never came to pass, however, but speculation as to his future with Porto has continued with the centre-back having missed the club's 1-0 defeat to Maritimo on Saturday and also reportedly sitting out training the next day.

Manchester United's dismal 2-1 defeat to Stoke at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday afternoon - their first defeat to the Potters in the league since 1984 - provided a stark reminder as to the current weaknesses that exist within Moyes' squad.

With injury issues forcing the Scot to deploy midfielder Michael Carrick as a makeshift centre-back, Phil Jones and Jonny Evans were both forced off during the first half - cementing a truly woeful afternoon for the club.

If Manchester United remain keen on Otamendi in a bid to significantly improve their defensive depth, however, they will obviously have to hope that his current employers resist the urge to cash in on the player until the end of the season. 

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