Is chasing Otamendi a waste of time for Manchester United?

Old Trafford Statues

Valencia defender Nicolas Otamendi is reportedly wanted by Manchester United, but will they get him?

Argentine centre-back Nicolas Otamendi can certainly be considered one of the top defenders in world football right now, which makes Manchester United reportedly wanting to capture him, per the Daily Star, very understandable.

The 27-year-old has been in superb form for Valencia this season, forming an excellent partnership with defensive team-mate, Shkodran Mustafi, as the team have pushed their way up to third position in La Liga and look a certainty to compete in the Champions League next season.

That's always been the clear objective for Valencia and particularly since the protracted takeover by Singapore billionaire, Peter Lim, eventually went through last year, making them a club with realistic ambitions of providing competition not only for Barcelona and Real Madrid in La Liga, but of also becoming one of the top clubs in Europe.

Otamendi has a €50 million release clause and Valencia have absolutely no intention of selling, SuperDeporte have underlined, whilst also suggesting that his club are preparing an upgrade to his contract and terms, which will also push his release clause up to €150 million.

Valencia fans also overwhelmingly believe the club should do all they can to keep Otamendi, believing he can become a legend at the Mestalla, in the same mould as iconic former player, Roberto Ayala.

If Manchester United lodge a bid of €50 million before that time, of course, they'll force Valencia to the negotiating table. But should and would the player risk trading a club and a league where he's now very settled, and performing exceptionally, to move elsewhere? It doesn't seem likely.

It's worth bearing in mind that the interest by Manchester United is nothing new. Along with the reported January transfer window approach, rejected out of hand by Valencia, as reported by the Daily Mail, the Red Devils also tracked Otamendi when he was at FC Porto and even before then, during his formative years with Argentine club, Velez Sarsfield. That's three opportunities missed already to land the talented defender.

Otamendi would be a fantastic signing for Manchester United, of that there's absolutely no doubt, but this current pursuit and apparent willingness to pay the full clause valuation, for a player who may not be all that interested in joining them, could end up like the failed chase after Cesc Fabregas. He ultimately rejected them and switched from Barcelona to Chelsea.

Manchester United could be barking up the wrong tree again this time, and might be best served focusing their efforts elsewhere, or face being left with nothing to show for their efforts, as appears to have happened all too often in recent years with a variety of targets. United don't just need one stellar defender; they need to improve their whole defence, and such tunnel vision focus on one player, won't help them do that.

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