Spanish football pundit Guillem Balague believes there is an expectation Manchester United will try to sign Nicolas Otamendi.
Balague was responding to a question from a reader of his SkySports column, who asked whether the Red Devils had any interest in signing Valencia's Otamendi or Athletic Bilbao's Aymeric Laporte, both centre-backs.
He did not address the Laporte part of the question, but was confident United have already had a bid rejected for Otamendi, and the La Liga side expect them to return.
He said: "Valencia think that Manchester United will pay the £38.2m buy-out clause in the summer for Nicolás Otamendi.
"United have already offered £27m and Valencia think they’ll improve on that offer, so the club are preparing for it."
The release clause is only £8.2 million more than the fee United paid Athletic Bilbao to sign Ander Herrera last summer, and is not an unreasonable amount for a club of their finances.
It will simply come down to whether United feel the Argentine international is worth the fee to strengthen their defence.
United have already been linked with signing Borussia Dortmund captain Mats Hummels, by The Mail among other outlets, and it is unlikely they would seek to sign both the German and Otamendi.
If Dortmund prove to be unwilling to sell, Otamendi could prove a good alternative, and his release clause means there is a clear target as to the figure United have to meet to secure his signature.