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Argentinian defender tipped to join Manchester United

It is being reported in Argentina that Manchester United have reached an agreement with defender Nicolás Otamendi. The Valencia defender was subject to much interest from the Old Trafford club for some time now, with former manager David Moyes keen on the player, who later signed for the La Liga side. United have for some time though been tipped to be interested in Mats Hummels, but Michael Zorc has reportedly told Kicker that the player will say with Borussia Dortmund after the summer. Zorc told Kicker (reported by the Daily Star):

“It was legitimate that Mats was thinking about his future but I always pointed out that we plan with him.”

Sky Sports Spanish football expert Guillem Balague has previously stated that United would need to pay Valencia €50 million (£36.5 million) in order to let the player leave the Mestalla this summer. Olé  in Argentina are reporting that Otamendi has a ‘preliminary contract’ with United, which will see him change clubs after the Copa America, which starts for Argentina on the 13th June when they face Paraguay. Valencia will reportedly utilise Otamendi in the final La Liga match of the season, against Almería, with Valencia needing a win to secure fourth place, should Sevilla beat Málaga.

Otamendi is an experience central defender, as is Hummels who was also a reported target. United are looking for experience with neither Chris Smalling or Phil Jones the player needed to fill that void which was left last summer with Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic both leaving the Old Trafford club. The season Otamendi has made 108 interceptions, 28 blocks, 252 clearances and five defensive errors, one of which led to a goal. Hummels has made 50 interceptions, 13 blocks, 111 clearances, two defensive errors, one of which led to goal. Otamendi seems to be the more active defender and comes highly rated, with both Marcos Rojo and Ángel Di María, both international team-mates, already in Louis van Gaal’s United squad.

Whilst his price tag seems a little steep, perhaps United could do a deal with the Spanish club, who are now owned by Peter Lim, a guy who has been reported as being seen in the new Hotel Football near Old Trafford (reported by United We Stand, a great fanzine you should subscribe to), along with Jorge Mendes, Otamendi’s agent. Whether this is a big coincidence, or something piecing together something to do with an impending transfer, we shall soon find out. The deal for Memphis Depay was done within 24 hours of United manager Louis van Gaal getting involved, and last summer he did state that should United want a player, it can be a deal which is done in the same amount of time.

In his recent blog, Andy Mitten, of UWS, stated that two deals were ready to be completed, should Louis van Gaal sanction them, so the deal for Otamendi could easily be one of those. Whether the Argentinian becomes the next to sign for Manchester United remains to be seen, but right now, the reports coming from Olé, who are a credible source of information, are something that we should not discredit at this time. With two deals being effectively ‘ready to go’, according to another good source, putting two and two together may just work for this rumour. The fact remains though, Mats Hummels does not look set to become a Manchester United player, which some may see as a shame, but personally, despite him being a top defender, I do worry how the Premier League may expose him a little.

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