Real Madrid to battle Manchester United for Nicolas Otamendi

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Football News

Real Madrid have emerged as suitors for the in-demand Valencia defender Nicolas Otamendi, according to Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo.

The Argentina international is currently working his magic in Chile at the ongoing Copa America, but back in Europe he is the talk of the town for a very different reason.

Manchester United have been heavily linked with a move Otamendi over the past month with several reports even suggesting a pre-contract agreement had already been reached.

Valencia have appeared reluctant to sell for under €50m, leaving Louis van Gaal scouring Europe for alternative options, but his interest in signing the centre-back remains strong.

But Van Gaal now faces a tougher task convincing Otamendi to make the move to Old Trafford with Real Madrid's new boss Rafa Benitez believed to be an admirer.

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez does not seem to be chasing a mega money signing this summer, meaning Benitez will be granted license to chase his own targets.

Real's new target

Los Blancos conceded an abnormally large amount of goals in La Liga last season (38) while the title winners Barcelona let just 21 goals slip.

Benitez now sees strengthening the defence as a priority and is also chasing a new goalkeeper in the form of David de Gea.

The agony continues

The Spanish international has refused to sign a new contract at Manchester United, leaving the Red Devils with little choice but to enter negotiations with Real Madrid.

Having seen De Gea, 24, develop into one of the game's best goalkeepers, Real Madrid's poaching has been a source of great frustration at Old Trafford. Now Real Madrid are set to annoy Manchester United further by swooping for Otamendi.

Hope on the horizon

However,other sources have suggested that all is not lost as Van Gaal still sees Mats Hummels as his priority centre-back target.

The Borussia Dortmund captain had apparently decided to stay in the Bundesliga despite the absence of European football next season, but Manchester United are still chasing a deal.

Hummels, 26, is not only younger than Otamendi but has a much more illustrious CV after winning the World Cup with Germany last summer as well as two Bundesliga titles with Dortmund.


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