Manchester United’s drawn-out pursuit of Nicolas Otamendi could be on the rocks due to the situation developing concerning Sergio Ramos, according to reports.
The Daily Mirror, citing Spanish newspaper Super Deporte, carries information suggesting that the difficulties brewing for Ramos at Real Madrid has United interested in pursuing a deal, although it could cost them the signature of one of Louis van Gaal’s top targets.
Valencia’s Otamendi has been hotly linked with a summer switch to Old Trafford in recent weeks, with only his valuation of a steep £35million serving as an obstacle to negotiations going ahead successfully.
His experience in the heart of the defence, coupled with the fact that initial number one target Mats Hummels is now thought to want to stay at Borussia Dortmund next year, makes him a crucial candidate to improve Van Gaal’s back-line, but now Real Madrid have him on their radar as well.
Real's own problems
The issues with Real’s defensive quarter have posed questions over the side's overall cohesiveness for a number of years and during the course of Carlo Ancelotti’s tenure there were just three reliable options to choose from.
The aforesaid Ramos, Portuguese hot-head Pepe and French starlet Raphael Varane remain the only viable selections for the centre-back berth at the Santiago Bernabeu, but with the latter the only one assured of his future there new boss Rafael Benitez is rightfully concerned.
As a result he’s busy casting his eye over alternatives across Europe, with Otamendi an obvious choice as he’s already made it essentially clear that he wants to leave Valencia this summer.
The 27-year-old’s price-tag certainly isn’t likely to put Florentino Perez off the hunt if he shares Benitez’s enthusiasm in the chase, though that spells bad news for United.
Of course the Red Devils might see a positive side in the fact that Real purchasing Otamendi could mean they’re more willing to sell Ramos, but in any case the Spaniard isn’t likely to be allowed to leave on the cheap.
Is it a dead end for United?
In fact given that the 128-times-capped Spain international is perhaps Real’s most senior player after Iker Casillas, he could cost even more than what Valencia are quoting for Otamendi.
The contrasting positions of both men could mean that United fail to land either of them, and with a prospective deal for Hummels no longer said to be on the cards that could pose Van Gaal big problems indeed.
United fans, who would you prefer out of Sergio Ramos and Nicolas Otamendi? Would you like someone else at centre-back next year? Let us know what you think in the comments box below.
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