Spanish football expert Graham Hunter believes United will go all out to sign Argentine defender Nicolas Otamendi in the summer, as Louis Van Gaal aims to add a powerful leader to his back line. However, Valencia’s asking price may deter the reds, with the Spanish club resisting to sell one of their star players.
Hunter told Sky Sports News that the interest in the player is ‘well established’ and that there may be a big offer on the table, but Valencia, being well placed in 4th to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in 3 years, will drive a hard bargain.
“If they come in with £50 million then Valencia have a decision to make”
“It is better football sense for Valencia’s level to use the good players they have got to earn Champions League revenue.”
The fact of the matter is that they have always been seen as a selling club. Losing the majority of their best names to the big hitters around Europe, having previously sold David Silva to Manchester City, David Villa and Jordi Alba to Barcelona, Roberto Soldado to Tottenham Hotspur and our very own Juan Mata to Chelsea. Hunter believes Valencia’s problems in terms of debt may leave them with little option.
“If Valencia finish fifth, then their financial situation is such that big clubs will be able to pick off their best players.”
Otamendi, 27, was heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford in the January window, with Sky Sports’ Guillem Balague reporting that a bid in the region of 35 million euros was rejected, and Goal reporting that his super agent Jorge Mendes told United he was going nowhere.
The player himself has had a terrific season. He joined from Porto last January for 12 million euros before being loaned to Atletico Mineiro in Brazil. Although he is now one of the major reasons why Valencia are battling it out for a place in Europe’s elite.
He has 3 goals in 27 appearances this campaign, two being against the giants just above them in the table, Real and Atletico. Otamendi was a member of the Argentina squad at the 2010 World Cup but not one of the side that made it to last year’s final.
Van Gaal will be looking for a strong, no-nonsense Nemanja Vidic type brute, and there is little doubt that Otamendi fits the bill perfectly. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see United go in with a bigger offer and test their resolve come the summer.