Manchester United’s bid to sign Argentine defender Nicolas Otamendi has gotten serious, with arguably the most influential football agent in the planet now involved. The player’s agent Eugenio Lopez has stated, according to Superdeporte, “I will not negotiate with Amadeo Salvo (the President of Valencia CF, where Otamendi currently plays), I negotiate with Jorge Mendes”. Lopez wants Mendes to help him reduce the transfer fee of €50 million which Valencia are demanding, which could be a clear indication that the player wants to leave.
Mendes has been involved in some of the biggest deals in the history of the game, including Cristiano Ronaldo’s world-record move from United to Real Madrid. He was also the man responsible for Angel Di Maria’s switch to Old Trafford from the Spanish capital last season, a £60 million move that broke the previous British transfer fee record.
It has been revealed though, that Real Madrid have joined to race to sign Otamendi. New manager Rafa Benitez will be looking to wring the changes to a side that failed to win any silverware last season, and signing the no-nonsense centre-back is on his agenda.
Louis van Gaal’s need is more urgent though, one would feel as bringing in some authority in defence is imperative for United next season. The likes of Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Johnny Evans haven’t stepped up to the plate well enough, and even though Otamendi will cost a large amount of money, it is a gamble worth taking.
The 27 year-old impressed one and all with his performances for Valencia last season. As effective as he was at the back, he was also a potent goalscoring threat, scoring 6 times. He was the leader in the pack as his side finished in the top 4 to qualify for the Champions League next season.
He is currently with the national side at the Copa America tournament, and has played the full 90 minutes in both the games so far. He is becoming an influential figure for Argentina as well, and so playing for one of the top teams in Europe will be a great career move.