Manchester City set to beat United to Nicolas Otamendi

Argentine left out by Valencia for Champions League play-off

Nicolas Otamendi in action for Valencia during pre-season. He has been pulled from their Champions League squad with a move to Manchester City on the cards. Photograph: Getty Images

Nicolas Otamendi in action for Valencia during pre-season. He has been pulled from their Champions League squad with a move to Manchester City on the cards. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Valencia coach Nuno has dropped Nicolas Otamendi for Wednesday’s Champions League play-off first leg against Monaco amid reports the Argentinian defender is on the verge of joining Manchester City.

Spanish sports newspaper Marca claim Valencia and City has been reached an agreement for the transfer of Otamendi to the Blues outfit for a reported €45million — but the Premier League club are yet to comment.

The 27-year-old, who is also a reported target of City’s Manchester rivals United, is under contract with the Spanish club until June 2019 but intends to leave Valencia this summer.

When asked about Otamendi’s exclusion from the squad for Wednesday’s match at the Mestalla stadium, Nuno told the Spanish press: “I understand and it’s logical that you want to ask me about Otamendi’s situation as he is in the news.

“But I ask to respect this press conference as there is nothing more important that tomorrow’s game against Monaco.

“For a few days now we have prepared for this game without the option of using Otamendi and tomorrow’s game is crucial for us.

“We have confidence in those that are here.

“Once everything is resolved, we will make decisions and the club will announce everything.”

Otamendi joined Valencia last summer from FC Porto and scored six goals in 25 league appearances to help Los Che finish fourth in La Liga this past season.

The highly-rated centre-back was also a member of the Argentina team that finished runners-up to Chile in the Copa America last month.

Valencia are hoping to return to play in the Champions League group stages after a two-year absence.

For Manchester United this looks like being their second defensive target to lose out on this week, with Sergio Ramos committing his future to Real Madrid with a new contract on Monday, ending summer-long speculation of a switch to Old Trafford.

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