Valencia CF (@valenciacf) July 27, 2015
Following an extended break after his participation in the Copa America with Argentina, along with making it clear he still wants to leave Valencia this summer, Nicolas Otamendi has arrived back at Valencia on Monday morning, joining the rest of his team-mates as they prepare for the next stage of their pre-season schedule.
Indeed, the 27-year-old was amongst the first players to arrive at the Paterna training complex at around 7:45am, local media outlet Super Deporte have reported, after flying back from Argentina. Even though there were fears from the club that he might start a rebellion, and refuse to rejoin the squad.
Once out on the training pitch, a firm clench of hands and a hug from manager Nuno Espirito Santo, accompanied by the message "welcome back" on the official Valencia CF Twitter account, suggesting that there are no problems between the player and his club.
However, everything seems to indicate the Argentine centre-back will still be leaving Valencia this summer, although the club remain firm that he will only do so, if the release clause valuation in his contract of €50 million, is paid in full. There will seemingly be no negotiation in that regard.
For several months, Manchester United have been leading the chase for Otamendi, with two offers rejected so far. Whether they return and meet the demands of Valencia when it comes to the transfer fee, remains to be seen.
Over recent weeks, much attention regarding possible defensive reinforcements at Old Trafford, has turned away from Otamendi and towards Ramos at Real Madrid, whilst his future at the Santiago Bernabeu remains a question mark.
This weekend though, Ramos seemed closer to staying with Real Madrid, following clear the air talks in China with club president, Florentino Perez, meaning the Red Devils could turn focus back to landing Otamendi.
Meanwhile, recent reports from the Mirror claimed that Manchester City have edged ahead of their red rivals, with speculation they're prepared to offer Otamendi a better deal, although doubts remain as to whether they're prepared to pay the full €50 million asking price to Valencia.
Portuguese super-agent Jorge Mendez and Otamendi's personal agent, Eugenio Lopez, reportedly held talks with representatives of United and City a week ago according to Super Deporte. Both the Premier League clubs remain interested, but as yet, neither has made a definitive offer to match Valencia expectations.