Man United blow as target set to complete player-plus-cash move to Premier League title rivals

Manchester United’s hopes of landing Valencia defender Nicolas Otamendi appear to be over, after AS claimed that the 27-year-old was closing in on a move to Manchester City.

Louis van Gaal has been keen on bringing the Argentina international to Old Trafford for most of the summer, while the Citizens joined the race much more recently (via Independent). And it seemed inevitable that his move to the Premier League would be completed imminently after the Independent claimed that he had asked to be excused from training.

The Independent also reported that the Red Devils were refusing to pay the €50m required to trigger his release clause. And that unwillingness to pay such a fee, as well as Los Che’s apparent desire to sell – following Otamendi’s decision to basically go on strike – appears to have worked in Manuel Pellegrini’s favour.

AS report that the Etihad outfit will complete the signing of the centre-back tomorrow, with the La Liga side set to pocket €40m and get City defender Eliaquim Mangala on a season-long loan.

With the blue half of Manchester’s title challenge off to a flyer following victories over West Brom and Chelsea, the news that one of United’s main targets has headed to Eastlands is likely to hugely frustrate van Gaal.

One of United’s biggest problems last season was the struggles of an inexperienced defence, and with the transfer window’s closure looming, they still have not entirely rectified that problem.

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