Manchester City and Real Madrid have both joined the race for Valencia defender Nicolas Otamendi, who has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United this summer.
According to the Daily Star, both City and Real are eyeing Otamendi and have joined the race for the Argentine defender.
While both may fancy their chances of securing the 27-year-old, they will likely face intense competition from United, with Louis van Gaal understood to consider Otamendi the solution to his side’s defensive deficiencies [Daily Mail].
The Red Devils have been linked with numerous defensive talents this summer, with the Dutch coach apparently unconvinced by the ability of the likes of Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans as he looks to launch a title challenge next term.
Van Gaal will also be oversee a long run in the Champions League, and Mats Hummels [Metro], Sergio Ramos [Telegraph] and Raphael Varane [Express] have all been linked with a move to Old Trafford—United even had an audacious transfer bid for the last of these three rejected by Real Madrid [Telegraph].
Otamendi has himself contributed to the rumours linking him to Manchester, by indicating that he is keen for his future to be sorted before August 18 [MARCA]. It has also been reported that the centre-back has handed in a transfer request as he looks to force through a move to the Premier League [Metro].
According to the Mirror, the Old Trafford giants will need to meet the defender’s £35 million release clause in order to snare him from Valencia.
United’s hopes of securing the defender have been hit by news that they now face considerable competition for his signature.
City may see the South American—who is currently on international duty at the Copa America—as a safer bet than inconsistent Eliaquim Mangala, and less of a fitness risk than increasingly injury-prone captain Vincent Kompany.
The only positive United can take from the situation is that Real’s interest may well indicate that Rafael Benitez’s side may well be making succession plans should Ramos or Varane move to Old Trafford.