Manchester United will have to meet Nicolas Otamendi’s £38 million release clause if they want to take the defender from Valencia this month, after seeing a £27 million bid rejected over the course of the weekend.
According to the Daily Express the Red Devils aren’t going to be able to land the Argentina centre-back this month unless they agree to pay close to £40 million for his signature, with Louis van Gaal in desperate need of an experienced new centre-back.
Since signing for Valencia from Porto last summer Otamendi has been in fantastic form in La Liga, prompting interest from all those looking to acquire a defender with genuine pedigree.
United certainly fall into that category, having lost both Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand prior to the start of the season, and yet doubts remain over whether or not Van Gaal would consent to such a lucrative expenditure.
United need defenders
In the summer months following his arrival the Dutchman spent £150 million on new imports, overseeing a transition that saw the likes of Radamel Falcao, Angel Di Maria, Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo move to Old Trafford.
Though the Red Devils sit third in the Premier League table more than one of their new recruits has yet to prove he’s worth the outlay, and Van Gaal will be wary of hedging his bets on a defender who has never played in England.
The Manchester dilemma
Yet it’s believed the 63-year-old is envisaging a South American defensive partnership of Otamendi and Rojo, with the pair teammates for Argentina on the national front. This comes after the acceptance that priority target Mats Hummels won’t be leaving Borussia Dortmund this month, having admitted yesterday that Champions League football wouldn’t be enough to make him turn his back on Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Unfortunately for Van Gaal he will have Manchester City to contend with, as Manuel Pellegrini is supposedly less than impressed with new-boy on the block Eliaquim Mangala.
Vincent Kompany remains a world-class presence in the heart of the back four, but partnering him with a player who can complement his talents has proven to be an increasingly difficult task.