One of the most sought after players this window, Nicolas Otamendi has been in Manchester in the last few days, and not to sign for long-term admirers Manchester United.
After the Red Devils recently dropped their interest in the Argentinian, the blue half of the city worked quickly to step in, snapping up the defender on a five-year-contract for around £32 million.
Growing up in Buenos Aires in Argentina, Otamendi joined local side Velez Sarsfield at the age of seven, eventually making his debut appearance 13 years later. With Sarsfield, he won the 2009 Argentinian Championship and was named in the South American Team of the Year the same year.
His performances for Sarsfield earned him his dream move to Europe, signing for Portuguese giants Porto for €4 million on a five-year-contract. Otamendi quickly established himself as a starring figure at the Estadio do Dragao, winning three league titles, a Portuguese cup, three Portuguese super cups and the Europa League in four years at the club.
He then moved to Spain in 2014, signing for Valencia for €12 million before loaning him out immediately back to South America, joining Brazilian team Atletico Mineiro. After only playing in five league matches for the Brazilians, Otamendi was given a chance at the Mestella for the 2014/15 season.
Since the beginning of the 2014/15 season, Otamendi’s reputation has rocketed. He was named in the La Liga team of the season, ahead of a number of world class defenders such as Sergio Ramos, has been instrumental in helping Los Che qualify for the Champions League for the first time in four years, and subsequently has been highly coveted this summer.
Otamendi, now 27, was called up to the Argentina squad by Diego Maradona in 2009 and featured at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. He wasn’t included by Coach Alejandro Sabella for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, but was restored to the national set up my new coach Tata Martino for the 2015 Copa America, where he played in all but one of the games as the White and Sky Blues lost to Chile in the final.
With Otamendi looking destined to feature alongside Captain Vincent Kompany at the heart of defence, City fans will have received new hope in their goal to both recapture the Premier League title and to finally achieve success in Europe.