Nicolas Otamendi could be one of the less obvious victims of Pep Guardiola’s summer clearout, with Sam Lee of Goal reporting today that Manchester City will look to sell the Argentine if they successfully recruit a new central defender during this transfer window.
Nico has mysteriously been absent from training since pre-season began, although that could be down to an injury or personal reasons – the club have yet to confirm. And if Otamendi is sold, the club would hope to receive a fee in the region of £20million for the 29-year-old.
Any Otamendi sale depends on if City can land one of their centre-back targets, which have been kept under lock and key from the press for much of the summer. Goal reports that an approach was made for Leonardo Bonucci once City learned Juventus were willing to sell, but he didn’t want to leave Serie A and is joining AC Milan in one of the most stunning transfers of the summer.
Sam Lee writes that other than Bonucci, City have two other options for centre-half, the third and least likely of them being Real Sociedad defender Iñigo Martinez, the 26-year-old who was recently linked with a move to the Etihad by Marca. A deal for him would be quite straightforward because he has a €30million (£26.5million) release clause.
It is unclear who the second choice is, but it is most likely not Virgil van Dijk, previously a top target but one City have walked away from since Southampton bumped their asking price up to £60million.
inigo martinez, nicolas otamendi