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Man United to win race with Chelsea and Man City for Porto man

| 29.01.2014

The transfer ears of Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City have pricked up at the news that one of their former targets is available once again.

Nicolas Otamendi, Porto’s Argentine centre-back, was set to leave Portugal for a temporary stay at Valencia, only to see that move collapse under the strain of Porto’s financial demands.

Cash-strapped Valencia weren’t able to meet those requirements, leaving the player open to a move elsewhere as he bids to nail down a place at the World Cup with La Albiceleste this summer.

Manuel Pellegrini is a known fan of the fleet-footed defender and could be tempted to use Otamendi to freshen up a back line that includes 31-year-old Joleon Lescott and Martin Demichelis, 33.

Neither player has been able to secure the starting berth alongside Vincent Kompany and with injuries taking their toll on both the skipper and Matija Nastasic this season, Pellegrini would be wise to add some younger legs to the position as he chases an unprecedented quadruple, currently priced at 45/1.

At Chelsea, Jose Mourinho has a pretty settled partnership at the heart of the defence, with John Terry used in tandem with Gary Cahill and David Luiz playing understudy.

However, beyond those three men Mourinho has little else to choose from aside from asking Branislav Ivanovic to shuffle inside from right-back.
Otamendi could therefore provide ample cover for the Stamford Bridge club as they bid to make good on their 2/1 chances of winning the league this season.

Of the three suitors though it is Man Utd, 11/5 to land in the top four this season, who have the greatest need for the World Cup hopeful.
Manager David Moyes has made no secret of his desire to rebuild his new club, and with Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand both the wrong side of 30 and failing to deliver their usual high-standards, Otamendi could be seen as the perfect chance to replace one or both of them.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.