Manchester United defensive target voted into La Liga 'Ideal Eleven'

Mestalla Valencia

Valencia centre-back Nicolas Otamendi has been rated the best defender in La Liga, for the 2014-15 season.

Everything seems to suggest this could be a crucial week, as Manchester United prepare to launch a final offensive, in their bid to land central defender Nicolas Otamendi from Valencia.

Whilst negotiations behind the scenes remain ongoing, the qualities of the 27-year-old Argentina international have been strongly endorsed, with recognition of just how effective he has been for Valencia.

The official LFP website published their '2014-15 Liga BBVA Ideal Eleven' on Monday, with the list of players voted for by their team of match correspondents.

Highlighted as "one of the most highly valued central defenders in La Liga" during the recently concluded campaign, Otamendi is clearly regarded as one of the best players in Spanish football right now.

There's certainly no arguing that Otamendi has earned his plaudits. According to the ratings of whoscored.com, the powerful defender has been Man of the Match for Valencia on no fewer than seven occasions.

Along with his resolute defensive displays, Otamendi also proven to be a potent outlet offensively, scoring six league goals, helping Valencia clinch fourth spot in La Liga and a return to the Champions League.

The endorsement from the correspondents of La Liga, also corroborates with the statistical ratings from whoscored, who likewise have Otamendi in their best eleven for the 2014-15 season, with an average rating of 7.6 from his 35 league appearances and comfortably the highest rating defender.

In their pursuit to reinforce defensively this summer, Manchester United are keen to add the best players around, and Otamendi certainly fits that billing. He is also statistically considered one of the best defenders in the major European leagues.

Inevitably however, Valencia are reluctant to lose their star centre-back, so are said to be holding out for his full clause valuation of €50 million (roughly £36 million), despite reports from The Independant, suggesting that his agent has already reached a verbal agreement with the Red Devils.

One suggested option for the Old Trafford outfit, if they're not prepared to match that sum, is a potential offer of Mexican striker Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez in part-exchange.

In the meantime though, no resolution is expected to what would undoubtedly be one of the biggest transfer deals moves of the summer, until after Otamendi has completed his participation in the Copa America, where he's hoping to help Argentina to success.

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