Having made upwards of 70 appearances for the Portguese giants, he was attracting interest from all corners of Europe, but the €30 million release clause in his contract was said to be putting United off splashing the cash for his services, with his performance levels not warranting such a high fee.
However, one club were willing to part with the cash for the highly rated centre half, and La Liga side Valencia managed to secure him for just €12 million, although they only managed to secure the deal in the early days of February - after the registration window for Spanish transfers had passed. Having bought the rights to his registration, but without the ability to register him, Los Che sent him on loan to Brazilian side Atletico Mineiro for the remainder of the 2013/14 season.
He has since become a regular feature in the Valencia back-line, making 16 appearances and scoring one goal - in a 3-1 victory over Atletico Madrid - and his form at the Mestalla has reportedly got United tracking his services once again.
But, much like before, they are faced with an increased buyout clause in his contract, and Valencia have no intention of accepting any offer lower than the clause. As reported by Valencia-based news outlet Super Deporte, United will have to part with €50 million, and it the report also indicates that, even if the fee is reached, the player himself would be unwilling to leave the Mestalla, as he is currently enjoying his time in Spain.
With United openly tracking central defensive reinforcements for the January transfer window, it appears as if they will keep their interest in Otamendi keen on securing him for a lower fee than his release clause. However, one would suspect that there are both cheaper, and better, options available for Louis van Gaal.