Manchester United remain intent on signing Nicolas Otamendi this summer, despite the fact recent attention has been shifted to Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos.
Red Devils fans will be forgiven for thinking Louis van Gaal’s interest in Otamendi had waned in the past fortnight, with the lion’s share of the speculation focusing around his supposed attempts to convince Real to part ways with Ramos.
Otamendi remains a target
However, fresh reports from Spanish newspaper AS - conveniently relayed by the Daily Mirror - claim that isn’t the case, with Van Gaal of the mindset that both men should be purchased before the summer transfer window has run its course.
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Of the pair it’s believed Otamendi is the closest to signing, with the Valencia man having made it clear earlier on this year that he is looking to move to a bigger club.
His name might not have been mentioned all that frequently in connection with Old Trafford of late, partly due to his participation in the Copa America with Argentina, but he remains an experienced option who is an excellent alternative to Mats Hummels.
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Two deals close?
The last reports on him before the recent radio silence suggested that Van Gaal will have to meet his £35million release clause if Valencia owner Peter Lim is to play ball with the transfer, though United are keen to lower that figure if at all possible.
Meanwhile Ramos, who rumour would have you believe is in all sorts of bother at Real, may be harder to get to, despite the fact he’s got just two years remaining on his Los Blancos deal. United have already seen a £29m bid rebuffed, but are sure to return to the charge if Van Gaal is in complete control of his club’s budget.
The main element supporting that theory is that the Dutchman is desperate to have Otamendi and Ramos form a defensive partnership next season, even though both Chris Smalling and Phil Jones have recently renewed their Old Trafford deals.
It would appear that the latter duo are going to have to work exceptionally hard if they’re to remain in Van Gaal’s plans with regards to the centre-back berth, whilst the fact that there’s been no recent talk of Jonny Evans realistically spells bad news for the Northern Irishman’s chances of not being sold on to make room in the coming weeks.
United fans, do you think Ramos and Otamendi would make a good partnership? Let us know who you would pair up in the heart of the back-line in the comments box below.