Report: Arsenal compete with Manchester United for Argentine international

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Arsenal have been linked with Nicolas Otamendi.

Arsenal are interested in Valencia defender Nicolas Otamendi, report The Mirror.

The paper claim: "Wenger is also keeping tabs on Valencia's Argentina defender Nicolas Otamendi. Arsenal have been scouting the 26-year-old, who can play right-back and centre-half. Otamendi has also been watched by Manchester United and Valencia would want big money for the rugged defender."

There's a reason a transfer will not be easy, Valencia signed Otamendi from Porto last summer for £10.5 million, and he has a contract until 2019.

Otamendi is a three time Primeira Liga winner in Portugal and a Europa League winner, and has 18 international caps for Argentina, and was recalled for the World Cup in the summer where he made one start.

He has been impressive in La Liga for Valencia this season, making 18 starts of a possible 19 in the division and scoring twice. During these games he has won 3.5 aerial duels per game on average, the 14th best in La Liga and equal to Sergio Ramos.

His form has helped Los Che into fifth place, just one point off a Champions League spot, and they have won four of their last six matches.

This adds weight to the suggestion Valencia would not part with his services easily, and if Arsenal were to tempt the Spanish side, they may have to commit near to the entire £20 million transfer budget the Telegraph claim he has available.

Offering Valencia the chance to double their money on a defender who has only been at the club for a few months could be enough of a tempter to persuade them, but making such a splash mid-season is not always Arsene Wenger's style.

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