Football

Manchester City are preparing to hijack United's moves for Sergio Ramos and Nicolas Otamendi

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Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is preparing to battle Manchester United for the signature of two high profile defensive targets. 

City are still in the market for a new central defender and are ready to go head-to-head with their neighbours for the signatures of Sergio Ramos and Nicolas Otamendi. 

Both men have been linked with a high profile move to Old Trafford this summer, however, the Mirror are reporting that the Etihad club are confident in their ability to hijack any potential United signing.

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Despite spending £31.9 million last summer to bring Elaquim Mangala to the club, from FC Porto, City are keen to bolster their back line, following some poor defensive showing as they feebly surrendered the title to Chelsea. 

According to the newspaper, City have been sounded out as the preferred destination for Valencia centre-back Otamendi, as his representatives believe they can get a better deal for their player on the blue side of Manchester.

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The 27-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to United and was left out his club's kit promotion for the upcoming season, signalling a move was iminent. However the Red Devils are yet to make a concrete offer for the Argentinian and Valencia are adamant they will not sell for less than the £35m release clause in his contract.

United's top target all summer has been Sergio Ramos after the defender appeared to become disillusioned with life in the Spanish capital. Ramos is set for showdown talks with club president Florentino Perez in the coming days and any potential deal could soon follow this discussion.

The two clubs have been stuck in a tug of war over the futures of Ramos and United keeper David de Gea, with neither club wanting to sell one of their top stars, however talk of a cash plus player deal between the two clubs has begun to gather pace again. 

If Ramos is to demand a move from the Bernabeu, City are expected to register their interest along with their local rivals. With the financial power city have, emphasised by their £44m signing of Raheem Sterling, they feel confident a lucrative deal could pinch the Spaniard away from Old Trafford. 

At times last season City's back line was at sixes and sevens. Vincent Kompany was not performing like the powerhouse defender who was influential in both of the Blue's title winning campaigns, while Martin Demichelis and Mangala struggled on a number of occasions. 

The opportunity to sign a comanding centre-back in the mould of Ramos or Otamendi would prove too good to pass up, and stealing them from under the nose of their city rivals would make it that much sweeter. 

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Topics:
Manchester City
Manchester United
Premier League
Football

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