Manchester City may be set to lose their second centre-back of the transfer window after Vincent Kompany’s return to boyhood club Anderlecht, as Argentine Nicolas Otamendi may be set to follow his former captain’s example by returning to a former club.
According to Superdeporte in Spain, 31-year-old Otamendi is keen on a return to Valencia, having left the club for Manchester City in 2015 and only has eyes for a return to the Mestalla despite Manchester City’s preferences. City are said to be willing to speak to clubs about Otamendi’s departure, but Valencia are not their priority due to Valencia not being able to pay as much as others, so Otamendi’s influence could prove vital.
Valencia are in dire need of another centre-back with only Gabriel Paulista, Ezequiel Garay and Mouctar Diakhaby as recognised senior options at the club. Jeison Murillo has joined Sampdoria on loan for the 2019/2020 season whilst Ruben Vezo signed for cross-city rivals Levante on the back of a successful loan spell last season.
Manager Marcelino looks to add more options to his squad with Otamendi’s arrival after guiding Valencia to the Copa del Rey in May. Valencia have qualified for the Champions League for a second successive season and seek to improve on back-to-back 4th-place finishes, looking to break the monopoly Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have held over the podium places in La Liga.
Otamendi’s exit could be a cause for concern for Pep Guardiola and Manchester City, with the Citizens having already lost Vincent Kompany and it is likely that at least one centre-back would need to be brought in to fill the void left in the squad.
If Otamendi was to leave, it would force City into the market with only John Stones, Aymeric Laporte and the out-of-favour Eliaquim Mangala as senior centre-backs. Tosin Adarabioyo has returned from a season-long loan at West Bromwich Albion and Dutchman Philippe Sandler featured twice last season, with the youngsters potentially having a role to play in squad rotation. Fernandinho and Kyle Walker are also capable of deputising as makeshift centre-backs, but for a club attempting to challenge on four fronts, makeshift options simply aren’t acceptable.