EXCLUSIVE: Real Madrid hold talks with Manchester City for Nicolas Otamendi's signature
Sportskeeda can confirm that Real Madrid are in talks with Manchester City about a move for Nicolas Otamendi
What’s the story?
Manchester City defender Nicolas Otamendi could become Real Madrid's first marquee signing of the summer after the Spanish champions held talks regarding a potential summer move, sources have told Sportskeeda. The Argentine international became an influential first-team player towards the end of Pep Guardiola's debut season at the Etihad, but a move away now seems possible.
Otamendi featured for City more than any other defender last season as Guardiola's side cemented their Champions League status ahead. Sources close to City told Sportskeeda that a move away is looking a likely possibility.
"City had entertained Jorge Mendes for the first time in nearly three years when Bernardo Silva joined the club in May. Along with discussions over potential incomings, City made their intentions known regarding their openness to selling Otamendi. Mendes has since attempted to attract potential suitors and recently held talks with Real Madrid as they look to replace Pepe".
In case you didn’t know...
Real Madrid had lost a defensive partner for Sergio Ramos this summer when Pepe decided to run down his contract and reject a one-year extension at the Bernabeu. City are also open to the idea of selling a central-defender as they look to sign someone capable of guiding John Stones in the absence of Vincent Kompany.
The heart of the matter
Otamendi is yet to return to pre-season training after picking up an illness during his holiday in Argentina. Manchester City flew out to America this afternoon ahead of their pre season tour without the Argentine international.
There's little to read between the lines regarding Otamendi missing training as it has been widely reported the illness has prevented him from returning to training anytime soon.
Madrid's need for a centre-back is apparent with only Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane being Zinedine Zidane's two experienced options to fill that position. Following the loss of Pepe, a gaping hole is apparent in the Madrid defence which has struggled for clean sheets under Zidane's tutelage.
Should a move finally happen, Otamendi could embrace La Liga once more where he was devastatingly brilliant for Valencia during his final season at the club – 2014/15. Otamendi spent two years at Valencia and was notably voted in the La Liga team of the year before his €28 million move to Manchester City.
The move would suit all parties as City go searching for another centre-back to elevate the side from third to first in the Premier League. Provided the club's valuation of £20million is met, a move could be on the cards in the near future.
Madrid certainly need a central-defender as they aim to capture a third successive Champions League and back-to-back La Liga titles, and Otamendi could prove an integral part. It must be noted, no deal is completed or even at an advanced stage, but preliminary talks between the parties have taken place.