Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal is on red alert with regards to Argentina international Nicolas Otamendi, as it’s been made clear he could force an exit from Valencia this summer.
According to The Guardian the 27-year-old is keen to take his exit from the Mestalla at the end of the current season and his agent has confirmed as such through comments made to Spanish radio station Cadena SER.
It’s not the first time Otamendi has been linked with a move to Old Trafford of course, as he was mentioned in connection with the club when David Moyes was at the helm and before that during the reign of Sir Alex Ferguson.
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Until now though the prospect of a move has never got past mere speculation, though his agent’s quotes should be enough to change that.
“Nicolás told Salvo to his face that he wanted to leave Valencia in the summer,” Eugenio Lopez (Otamendi's agent) told the Spanish radio station Cadena SER.
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“Nicolás is happy at Valencia and with the fans but he’s got an option to improve on a professional level.
"Nico is going to do everything [possible] to leave. There are a lot of conversations with clubs that want Otamendi. Nicolás loves everything at Valencia but, if the chance arose to leave, he’d do everything possible to make it happen.”
Improving United's defence
It’s widely recognised that Van Gaal will have to improve his back-line lest he wants to be caught short next season when United not only look to better this year’s Premier League finish but also aim to make headway in the Champions League.
Chris Smalling and Phil Jones struggled to replace the likes of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand in the heart of the Red Devils’ defence, whilst Jonny Evans looks sure to be moved on along with the likes of Rafael and Nani.
As a result Van Gaal needs a more experienced head to marshall his defensive staff, and in that respect there’s few better who are readily available than Otamendi.
One man who might lay claim to being higher up the pecking order is Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels, a man whose future will be under particular scrutiny given the fact that Jurgen Klopp has already confirmed his exit from the Signal Iduna Park.
Dortmund won’t be in any hurry to sell him if they can in any way help it, but the fact that they’ve had a rather poor season might push him to look for pastures new.
In any case neither man will come cheap based on early estimations. Otamendi is believed to have a buy-out clause that stands at around £43 million, whilst Hummels could cost upwards of £32m. Such figures are defendable given that the players in question are highly experienced options, but nevertheless Van Gaal will have to be careful if he’s planning other assaults as well.
United fans if you had the option who would you pick? Does Mats Hummels float your boat or is Nicolas Otamendi a better choice? Let us know in the comments box below.