Manchester City have officially announced the arrival of €45m defender Nicolas Otamendi, and the player has penned a five-year deal at the Etihad after spending only one year at Valencia.
Contrary to the reports that Eliaguim Mangala will be moving to the Mestalla on loan as part of the deal, that is not the case as the French defender will remain at the Etihad and fight Otamendi for a starting place in the team, as captain Vincent Kompany will likely be given to nod to start every game by Manuel Pellegrini.
According to Spanish football expert Guillem Ballague, Valencia and Man City had agreed a temporary switch to the Mestalla for Mangala – who used to be Otamendi’s partner at Porto before the pair moved on last season – but the 24-year old Frenchman declined, insisting he wants to fight for a place in the team.
Despite costing the Citizens a fee as huge as €45m (£31.7m), the bearded Otamendi should be a quality addition to the City squad who already top the Premier League table with a 100 per cent record. Otamendi’s form helped Valencia qualify for this season Champions League and the 27-year old was included in La Liga team of the year for last season.
The no-nonsense defender blocked more shots and made more clearances than any other defender in the Spanish top division last season and his physique should help him blossom in the Premier League.
Otamendi was previously linked to Manchester United, but the Argentinian defence stalwart will be playing for City instead. The Argentina international defence ace is already targeting silverware with City while boss Manuel Pellegrini has also backed him to be a success.
“I am here to give my best, to fight game by game and push City to the highest peaks for as long as possible, and I wish we will be able to win several cups and titles,” Otamendi told City’s official website.
“This is the most important [thing]. To be here inside a club that looks so wonderful from the outside is a dream.”
Pellegrini also gave his view on the transfer, saying: “Nicolas Otamendi was arguably the best defender in La Liga last season so naturally I’m delighted to have added a player of his quality.
“He is an established international for one of the best nations in world football and I have no doubt that he has the right mentality to fit into a squad where he will find many familiar faces, include Eliaquim and Fernando whom he played alongside in Portugal.
“As a footballer, Nicolas has all of the qualities to be a success in the Premier League – he’s strong, he’s excellent in the tackle and he’s very good technically.”
City’s capture of Otamendi sees them hand another blow to their neighbours United whom Chelsea snapped Pedro from under their noses yesterday.