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Man United close to completing deal to sign €50m centre-back

Old Trafford side chase La Liga defender Nicolas Otamendi.

Man United are closing in on the signing of Valencia centre-back Nicolas Otamendi according to Spanish source Fichajes (via the Daily Mirror).

Last season Louis van Gaal flittered between a number of central defensive players with the likes of Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo, Paddy McNair, Tyler Blackett and Jonny Evans all being called upon.

No-nonsense Argentine international Otamendi would offer van Gaal a strong alternative and Fichajes claims a deal to bring the 27-year-old to Old Trafford is imminent with a fee of €50m (£34m) being mooted.

Otamendi spent four successful years with Portuguese giants FC Porto before moving to the Mestalla last summer and the South American excelled in his debut campaign in La Liga.

His strong displays at the heart of Nuno Santo’s defence aided Valencia to a top four finish and a return to the Champions League for 2015/16.

Last season Man United were indebted to David De Gea as a last line of defence, the Spanish keeper frequently putting in Man of the Match displays to make up for the club’s shaky back-line.

Man United lack a real defensive leader, van Gaal having seen both Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic leave the club last summer, and Otamendi’s displays for club and country over the past year have been of the highest quality.

Man United boss Louis van Gaal has moved to strengthen his squad ahead of their own return to Champions League action, the Dutch manager successfully acquiring the services of four top-quality signings thus far this summer.

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The Old Trafford side have brought in Dutch youngster Memphis Depay, Italian right-back Matteo Darmian, midfield general Bastian Schweinsteiger and Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin.

If secured, Otamendi would become the third Argentine at Man United with Marcos Rojo and Angel di Maria already part of Louis van Gaal’s set-up.

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