Manchester United-linked defender on target as Valencia win

As Valencia look to chase down Real Madrid in La Liga, defender Nicolas Otamendi was on target in their 4-0 win over Elche.

Louis van Gaal looks set to carry on Manchester United’s spending this summer as he tries to build a squad that can challenge for both the Premier League and Champions League next season.

The Dutch coach has previously said that fourth place would be like a trophy this season, and it has to be the minimum achievement that Old Trafford hosts Europe’s biggest names again next season, but nothing is yet guaranteed.

Manchester United face a huge challenge for that fourth spot, but it won’t stop the club making plans for the summer, and one of those targets - as reported by the Daily Mail - is Nicolas Otamendi and the Argentine defender was on the score sheet on Friday night as Valencia maintained their own hunt for Champions League football with a 4-0 away win over Elche.

With all eyes on this weekend’s El Clasico, Valencia capitalised on the opportunity to close the gap on Spain’s big two by picking up all three points against the side down in 15th.

Otamendi’s side were already 3-0 up when the Argentine defender added the icing to the cake for Nuno Espirito Santo’s team. The powerful defender lost his marker at a corner in the 90th minute and no one was going to stop him from heading past Przemysław Tytoń.

That was the defender’s third goal of the season and the win takes Valencia to within four points of Real Madrid in second place.

United are understood to have made an offer in the region of £26m for Otamendi, as reported by Spanish football expert Guillem Balague, but Valencia are believed to be holding out for his £37m buy-out clause.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch