Manchester City are closing in on a £25 million deal for Valencia centre-back Nicolas Otamendi, Sports5050 understands.
The proposed deal would see Eliaquim Mangala spend the rest of the season on loan at Mestalla, and City are hopeful of negotiating the price down still further due to the money Valencia still owe them for last summer’s transfer of Alvaro Negredo.
Otamendi, 27, followed up a breakthrough season in Spain by helping Argentina reach the final of this summer’s Copa America and has been repeatedly linked with a move to Manchester United in recent months.
But it is bitter rivals City who have won the race to sign the Argentine they hope will prove a worthy defensive partner for captain Vincent Kompany, with Mangala failing to convince in the Premier League since his £32m move from Porto in the summer of 2014.
There is still hope in the corridors of power at the Etihad Stadium that a season in Spain will help Mangala, 24, mature into a top-class centre-back and Valencia will not be given an option to sign the Frenchman permanently.
Otamendi has become a key figure at Valencia but the Spanish giants are under pressure to sell players in order to meet Financial Fair Play obligations.